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Nathan Gorman hopes to make Ricky Hatton proud in British title fight

Andy Ruiz was not much better known beyond the city limits of his border suburb in Southern California before he knocked out Anthony Joshua than Nathan Gorman is outside his Cheshire market town.

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On Saturday night Gorman challenges for the British heavyweight title against Daniel Dubois.

‘It’s unreal that I’m the only sportsman in Nantwich,’ says Gorman. ‘But that does give me tremendous local support for which I’m grateful.’

The rest of the comparisons being made with Mexico’s first world heavyweight champion do not chime so readily with Gorman.

Least of all the one about Ruiz being the squat little guy who came out of obesity to shock Joshua, Madison Square Garden, New York and the world.

Gorman is standard height for a heavyweight at 6ft 4½ in – just half an inch shorter than Dubois – and will step into the ring at the O2 Arena looking the physical part for the first time in his career.

Gorman recalls that when Ricky Hatton asked me to come and see his new heavyweight recruit some four years ago he was on the chubby side.

In London last week he slipped off the jacket of his smart check suit to display a torso finely honed inside a snug-fit waistcoat.

‘I used to weigh 19 stones at this stage of fight week,’ he says. ‘This morning I’m about 17 and a half.

‘No, it’s not a huge weight loss but I’ve trained hard to take off the fat and replace some of it with muscle.’

He looked even lighter at this Tuesday’s public work-out. That is a critical adjustment which is enhancing a fluent mobility in the ring similar to that for which his traveller relative Tyson Fury is renowned.

It is also levelling out the insider predictions for this fight between Gorman the boxer and Dubois the knock-out puncher.

‘It was about 80 per cent to 20 per cent against me among people in boxing when the fight was announced,’ says Gorman.

‘Now it’s closer to 50-50. I appreciate the respect for the tough grind I’ve put in.’

He also thanks Hatton for all his hard work in the gym, revealing that his own respect for the Hitman extends to ‘still not having plucked up the courage to ask my idol to sign a poster of him I’ve had on my bedroom wall for ten years.’

Gorman is still ‘gobsmacked’ that his trainer-idol ‘finds time to come to family events, like my little boy’s Christening.’

Light on his feet he may be but, at 23 and winner of all his 16 pro fights to date, he is not getting ahead of himself.

When told that promoter Frank Warren expects that the winner on Saturday night will go on to beat Joshua, Gorman says: ‘Really? I’m just focused on beating Dubois.

‘It doesn’t necessarily follow that what Ruiz did to Joshua I can do just as well to Dubois… Then again I might do it even better.

‘Let’s just see what happens on Saturday night.’

Dubois vs Gorman will be televised live this Saturday night on BT Sport

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