It’s now or never. Do or die for Stephen Ormond on June 17th.
It might seem a dramatic statement, but that is how the Clondalkin puncher is himself billing his WBO European title clash with Craig Evans.
The 34 year old believes defeat on a show that includes the likes of Paddy Barnes and Jamie Conlan will signify the end of his world title dream. Indeed ‘The Rock’ all but went as far to say he was battling for his career of the ‘Battle of Belfast’ card.
The Clondalkin man has had to do it the hard way over his career and, despite not having promotional backing, a fighter some suggest had the talent to be a household name, twice made it to within touching distance of a World title shot.
However, he was disqualified against now WBO lightweight title holder Terry Flanagan after going ahead with the clash days after his grandmother passed in one eliminator and had a weight mix up see an IBF equivalent called off.
So, Ormond claims he is now in last chance saloon and is determined to get the shot he feels his talents deserve.
“Put it this way it’s a fight I have to win,” a straight shooting Ormond told Irish-Boxing.com.
“I really have to win it and I honestly believe I can.”
In order to keep his career alive Ormond claims he is putting everything into his pre Evans camp, well nearly everything.
The MTK puncher claims there is one massive difference to how he is approaching this clash to all his others. He isn’t trying to ‘hurt’ himself in training and is learning to value rest days.
“I have put everything in to make sure I do win it. I have been away sparring, I had Ronnie Clark in this week to spar and I will do more next week. I am going everything possible. I always work hard, but I think I am doing things right this time.
“I have my rest days now, before I was all out every day just mad to work. I wanted to hurt myself everyday, but I know now I have to rest in between. I am older and wiser, but I feel fresh. I know everyone says it, but I feel fitter now than I did when I was 24.”
Ormond is one of those boxers that isn’t boxing nut. Unlike stablemate Luke Keeler, he wouldn’t be an avid watching of the sport, but one person in the game he does know well is Craig Evans.
‘The Rock’ has come across his Waterfront opponent on more than one occasion on undercards of Frank Warren shows. The pair have always got on and like going into all his fights Ormond claims there will be no bad blood, but knows with so much at stake that won’t take away from the mouthwatering match up.
“I know him well. We didn’t spar or anything, but I know him from shows around the place. We would be in the dressing room together, having a laugh and that.”
“There is no bad blood, but it won’t take my edge off because I have to win. We are in there to fight and I am sure we will.”
Despite being the Welshman’s senior by seven years the 34 year old former amateur International believes it’s down the stretch where he could do damage and really impose his will on the fight. That is unless Evan’s wants to go to war early on.
“He is a tough lad and he has Welsh pride and it’s a great fight on paper. If it goes the way I think it will the late rounds will be good for me, but it depends what he wants. He is a tough southpaw and if he wants a war we can do it that way too.”
Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey speak to Jason Quigley on Episode 5 of The Irish Boxing Show: