After numerous failed attempts, the eagerly anticipated clash between the unbeaten Mancunian Terry Flanagan (27-0, 10 KOs) and European titlist Stephen Ormond (17-2, 8 KOs) finally came to fruition on a night when love was blossoming around the world.
However, there was no love lost in tonight’s bout between two classy Lightweights, who as previously predicted served up a cracking tussle that ebbed and flowed throughout the full 10 rounds it lasted.
In the end, though, Stephen Ormond unexplainably began to use his head excessively which eventually lead to his being disqualified, tainting a very good fight from both men.
Therefore, it was Flanagan who prevailed on Valentine’s night, claiming Ormond’s European title as well as setting up a mouth-watering shot at the WBO World Lightweight crown that happened to be the main prize laying in wait for the winner.
As expected, the opening round began with Flanagan showing off his superior boxing ability, which Ormond found hard to work out, as he was unable to tie down the elusive British champion.
Ormond was applying a lot of pressure, except his punches were not having the desired effect as Flanagan’s tight defence was holding firm.
It was in the third session when Ormond eventually arrived.
The Dubliner began to find some success to his opponent’s body and head and–because of Flanagan’s recent weight issues–this may be pivotal if the fight were to go into the later rounds.
Every round was close, an attack from Ormond was always followed by an attack from Flanagan. It was a great fight but it seemed it was playing into the away fighter’s hands, as Flanagan found it exceedingly hard to keep his relentless counterpart off him.
Flanagan went back to his boxing in Rounds 5 and 6 as the rings of TURBO, TURBO echoed around the Civic Hall.
Late in the round though, Ormond connected with a big left hook that shook Flanagan, but it seemed too late to benefit as the British champion still nicked the round.
As the fight surpassed the midpoint, Ormond was finding it difficult to capitalize as Turbo’ s ability to stick and move was becoming ever more impressive.
The reinvigorated Mancunian began to land more shots to the head of Ormond, who was simply point blank refusing to use head movement, as he came charging in like a bull hoping to knock the 25 year olds head off.
The next two rounds were merely unexplainable and disappointing. Even though Ormond was still in the fight, he seemingly lost his cool, pushing his head into the face of Flanagan, which resulted in a point deduction for the European Champion.
Ormond then tried on two separate occasions to land with his head that could have easily led to the Dubliner’s being disqualified.
Packy Collins, who was in the corner of Ormond, tried to calm his charge down. However, it was to no avail, as it was in the very next session when Ormond sealed his own fate. The 31-year-old threw his head up to the chin of Flanagan’s for the last time, giving referee Steve Gray no option but to stop the fight.
It is trivial to try to comprehend what was going through Ormond’s head as the final rounds were approaching. Was he looking for a way out of the fight or was he simply just trying to rough Flanagan up? Well, he was adamant that it was most definitely the latter.
“The plan was to wear him down; I let myself down, I got beat by the better boxer,” said Ormond. “I thought let’s just make it a rough fight, I didn’t do it on purpose, it is just one of those things.”
Flanagan was also unimpressed by his own work but was happy with his performance in the later rounds.
“I let myself down a bit, I didn’t get my boxing off enough, when I did get it off, I made it easy. He is a tough strong kid, so I know when I stick to my boxing I will beat anyone,” said the victor. “He made me work every minute of every round.”
Promoter Alistair Warren also gave a few words regarding Flanagan’s potential WBO world title.
“What we do definitely know is that Terry will be fighting for it. We are waiting for Terence Crawford to vacate so there is another eliminator to see whom Terry is going to be fighting between Diaz and Ao in the next couple of months,” said the son of legendary promoter Frank Warren.
So, after a very intriguing battle comes to a disappointing end, it is apparent that with Lightweight ruler Terence Crawford aiming for the 140-lb division, Terry Flanagan now looks certain to face the winner of seasoned brawler Juan Diaz and Takahiro Ao for the coveted world title sometime in the late summer.
With the skills on show tonight though, Turbo will be expecting to leave the ring on that occasion with the illustrious WBO belt around his waist.
As for the loser Stephen Ormond, he will undoubtedly come again with a tenacious style that has the spectators on their feet for the majority of his fights.
His decision to use his head will haunt him, so Ormond will definitely have to regroup after this devastating defeat, but the future can still be exceedingly bright for the exciting Dublin slugger.
There were routine victories all around on the undercard as Craig Evans, Tommy Langford, Joe Costello, Andrew Robinson, Ricky Summers and Simon Barclay all claimed relatively easy wins on the Wolverhampton bill.
There was an Impressive win for Super Welterweight Jamie Cox who unquestionably deserves a mention after his emphatic 1st round knockout over Alistair Warren had the crowd on their feet.
Nevertheless, it was Flanagan who surges on to potential world honors, but I’m sure that the man from Manchester will be glad to see Stephen Ormond in his rear view mirror, as the former European champion made Turbo work for every minute of every round.
So with those invaluable rounds in the tank, can Terry Flanagan go one better and join the ever-growing list of Mancunian world champions?
And, since it is Valentine’s Day, Roses are red violets are blue,
Ormond gets disqualified, while Flanagan has a world title to pursue!