Stephen Ormond can take a step closer to a world title fight if he beats Paul Hyland to take the latter’s IBF European belt in Belfast on Saturday but only if he takes a step back to go forward with his career.
For this fight the challenge has been to bring Stephen back to a place where he can perform to his potential and win a prestigious European belt following his below par performance last time out.
Stephen, by his own admission, failed to get the best out of himself in his last fight and the resulting loss has meant a more thorough than normal assessment of the requirements for this weekend’s bout.
Now attitude and preparation have never been lacking from Stephen, one of the most diligent pros you’re ever likely to meet, so honing that positive energy and giving it the right direction is where we come in.
In the last few fights Stephen was putting undue pressure on himself with a win or bust attitude. The big thing for him in this fight has been about rediscovering that love for competing again.
For pros just as much as amateurs there has to be an element of pleasure in the journey to your goal or the whole experience becomes a drudge. First you have to be able to identify where the winning formula is lacking and then apply various techniques to bring out the best in the athlete.
We worked on getting Stephen back to a place where he can reimagine and fully identify with the kid who fell in love with the sport in the first place and now he’s there.
The mark of a great champion is someone who can learn and adapt. Stephen’s training plan three months ago had no mention of “rekindling a love of boxing” or “rediscovering the joy of competition.”
Fundamentally, it’s about being flexible, willing to review on a consistent basis and Stephen knows what he has to improve going into this fight and he has prepared brilliantly, both in the ring and out.
When you mix that passion with the level of commitment and experience he has, you have a seriously confident and focused competitor.