Heavy Vetting? – Questions raised over Ormond world title eliminator
Question marks are starting to be raised over Stephen Ormond‘s aborted world title eliminator during the Summer.
The Rock’ failed to make weight for a proposed clash with Alejandro Luna at the 2300 Arena, but some are beginning to question why Philadelphia puncher Naim Nelson seemingly signed an agreement to step in as a replacement for Stephen Ormond the night before
The Clondalkin world title hopeful was scheduled to fight prospect Luna in an IBF world title final eliminator live on ESPN in Philly on Friday August 5, but the fight was cancelled after the Celtic Warrior Gym puncher came in an initial four pounds over the weight.
The news shocked not only Ormond supporters, but also his team as they explained, post-weigh in and in more detail when they returned to Ireland, that they believed they were on course to tip the scales at the lightweight limit.
Regardless, local fighter Nelson stepped in and to the surprise of many, took California’s Luna ten rounds – especially considering it was reported before they gloved-off that he had to lose 16 pounds before the scheduled 10 rounder.
Late replacements are nothing new in boxing, fighters are often drafted in last minute for injury, contract, or weight issues. However, it seems Nelson signed for the fight at 9pm on Wednesday August 3rd – hours before Ormond had even stepped on the scales.
Such news, if correct, has raised eyebrows and questions from those within the game in Ireland.
When explaining how Ormond had missed weight for the first time in his career Paschal Collins last Summer said they were working off a scales provided to them by the gym they had been advised to attend when they arrived in America.
The team questioned the scales initially, but were told they were newly-calibrated and as a result spot on. Working off those scales Team Ormond were confident they were on course to make weight and after checking the weight in the morning felt the lightweight limit wouldn’t be an issue come weigh in time.
However, when they got to the weigh in scales Ormond found himself four pounds over. It could be putting two and two together and coming up with five, but some are suggesting the early Nelson agreement and the scales are linked.
That August incident cost ‘The Rock’ the chance to close in on a World title shot and had some questioning his commitment and desire in the aftermath. Ormond has since left Murphy’s Boxing and is working with MGM, building toward big fights, but it’s something that still doesn’t sit right with the fighter or his team.
When asked about the issue, Paschal Collins commented that “all I can say is Stephen Ormond is the consummate professional. Never before that fight has he ever missed weight and he made weight for eight previous title fights.”