Stephen Ormond eyes World Champ Ray Beltran ahead of return to title trail v George Ashie


Stephen Ormond is looking to start his third world title charge this Friday night in Glasgow.

The Clondalkin lightweight faces WBO #14 George Ashie at the Emirates Arena, live on BoxNation, and is hoping to put himself on the road to a fight with champion Raymundo Beltran.

Ormond [25(13)-5(1)] was defeated in a WBO final eliminator by Terry Flanagan back in 2015 and missed weight for an IBF final eliminator against Alejandro Luna in 2016.

Two losses for rankings titles last year , a clear defeat to Craig Evans and a controversial reverse to Paul Hyland, looked to spell the end to Ormond’s career at the top level.

However, the 35-year-old has secured another chance and has Beltran, himself a fighter that has refused to give up.

First though, Ormond must deal with the tough Ashie [28(20)-4(1)-1], a former African and Commonwealth champion.

While only fighting sporadically in recent years, the Ghanaian still represents a substantial test and Ormond is familiar with his upcoming foe.

‘The Rock’ described how “I’ve seen Ashie’s fights. He’s got a great record and he’s obviously very tough.”

“He’s highly ranked for a reason but I’m going to take that ranking off him when I face him.”

“It’s clear that Ashie is very durable – he took Kevin Mitchell the full distance when they fought for the Commonwealth title [in 2016].

“This will be a fantastic win for me because Ashie is a really high-class opponent.”

Ormond has kept going despite numerous setbacks, much like current champ Beltran [35(21)-7(2)-1, 1NC].

The 37-year-old Mexican won a world title at the fourth time of asking back in February and defends his belt the night after Ormond faces Ashie, taking on former super featherweight titlist Jose Pedraza in Glendale, Arizona.

In his previous attempts, Beltran was held to a dubious draw by Ricky Burns in 2013 and dominated by Terence Crawford in 2014 before his two-round demolition of Takahiro Ao in 2015, a fight his missed weight for, was overruled after he tested positive for anabolic steroid stanozolol. This year, against Paulus Moses, he needed the win to be considered an elite athlete eligible for a U.S. Green Card, and he duly won on points.

Ormond is keen on the champion and admits that “Raymundo Beltran is the end goal for me. That’s who I want to fight.”

“He’s got the WBO world lightweight title and I plan to challenge him for it.”

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

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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