“Loads can happen” – Collins backs Ormond to avenge Szabo defeat and enter title contention

Stephen Ormond will give himself an early Christmas present in Scotland tonight according to Pascal Collins.

Ormond put Zoltan Szabo revenge top of his Santa list and hounded his team for a rematch, which they eventually granted him on another MGM Scotland show.

There are those in the game who argue strongly against returns against opposition that are perceived lower level but have caused an upset, especially if that surprise win comes via stoppage.

However, respected trainer Collins argues those arguments come from teams with ‘self doubt’ issues, and claims his charge had a similar attitude to Conor McGregor after he lost to Nate Diaz before avenging the defeat and going on to make UFC history.

The Celtic Warrior Gym boss says Ormond quickly became aware of what went wrong as he lost for a third time and not only knows what he has to do to avenge the stoppage reverse, but is 100 percent confident he will get revenge this evening live on Boxnation.

“People that say that [never rematch after a surprise defeat] have self doubt,” Collins told Irish-Boxing.com.

“Stephen isn’t like that. Look at Conor McGregor when he lost, he wanted the rematch straight away. He identified why he lost and knew he could win a rematch. Stephen was the same. He demanded a rematch. People were saying there was no need, but he wanted it before Christmas. He wanted to put that defeat behind him before the year was out.”

“He knows he can win and knows what he has to do to win. He wanted it straight away, that loss doesn’t sit well with him,” he added before reflecting on the surprise defeat.

“It was a shock at first but he was straight back in the gym and he realised what had happened. People don’t realise there is post traumatic stress in boxing. That initial shock and disappointment can be big. Lucky Stephen got down the gym and dealt with it.”

“He wasn’t himself that night. He got caught with a great body shot and you can’t take that away from the lad but Stephen wasn’t his buzzsaw self. He could have came in a bit heavy too and mentality wise may have been off. But look, he has been dying for a rematch and now he has it. He knows he has the beating of this lad.”

Collins, who often argues no one deserves a World title shot more than the talented, hardworking, but often overlooked Clondalkin native, is adamant the October reverse doesn’t represent a decline. The former pro fighter is adamant ‘The Rock’ can still get a World title shot.

Team Ormond would like that to be another rematch, this time with WBO lightweight World champion Terry Flanagan, who Ormond was disqualified against in February 2015. The trainer sees a scenario were that clash can happen, but suggests ‘Turbo’s’ manager has been keen to put the breaks on any potential repeat.

“There are still big fights there for him. He could move toward the Terry Flanagan rematch with a win on Saturday and that would be a world title fight. Steve Wood is Terry’s manager and he doesn’t want the fight, but they are struggling to find opponents for Terry, especially opponents that generate interest. so there is a chance.”

Ormond was disqualified against the now World champ in a WBO title eliminator, but lost his grandmother, whom he was essentially raised by, during fight week, which saw go out of character and use his head illegally.

Some argue the Manchester fighter, who is massively keen on an Anthony Crolla fight, has grown into a great champion, but Collins, while respectful of the fighter, doesn’t rate Flanagan’s opponents and remains confident Ormond has the beating of him.

“Terry’s last few opponents have been poor in my opinion. I thought [Orlando] Cruz was diabolical. Okay Terry can only beat what’s in front of him, but I don’t think you can say he has improved all that much. There are other options too with BT coming on board with Frank Warren. They need fights so they may bring over the other champs! Loads can happen, let’s win here on Saturday first.”

Photo Credit: Ricardo Guglielminotti – The Fighting Irish (@ThefIrish)

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie