Experienced and respected ring referee Mickey Vann has sympathized with Stephen Ormond after the Dublin fighter was disqualified on February 14.
Vann hasn’t condoned ‘The Rock’s’ use of the head and believes the Celtic Warrior Gym fighter was correctly thrown out. However, Vann claims the referee could have prevented the situation from happening.
Vann believes Ormond used his head in round nine and ten because he became increasingly frustrated with Flanagan’s holding and stressed a warning for the Manchester fighter earlier in the fight may have prevented a controversial ending.
“I felt sorry for Stephen Ormond losing his WBO European lightweight title by disqualification to Terry Flanagan,” said Vann in his Boxing News column.
“Although he took it on the chin, and should have in all honesty retained his composure in, what I thought, a close contest. I can understand Ormond’s frustration as Flanagan used every opportunity to grab and hold Stephen and with Stephen being somewhat shorter, the head was always going to be an issue. I thought the referee Steve Gray was somewhat lax in his attention to the holding from Flanagan and if he had paid a bit more attention to this there may have been no need for a disqualification later on.
“Ormond may not have won the verdict, but such a conclusion would have been more palatable. It is a referee’s job to ensure the safety of the fighters and if necessary put in that extra yard to keep the action flowing.”