STEPHEN Ormond will attempt to right the only wrong on his professional record and bring big time boxing back to Dublin when he trades leather with Paul Appleby in July.
The WBO European lightweight champion fell victim to what his team refer to as ‘the rotten’ Appleby decision’ when he controversially lost to the former British featherweight champion in Glasgow in March of 2012.
The Clondalkin native, 31, has now been afforded the chance to get revenge as the Scot has agreed to come to Dublin and challenge the Boxing Union of Ireland Fighter of the Year this Summer.
“Paul Appleby has agreed to come to Dublin to fight Stephen Ormond,” says ‘The Rock’s’ coach and manager Pascal Collins.
“This is a big chance for Stephen to put that robbery behind him. Stephen won that fight, but on paper Appleby is the only fighter to defeat him. We are off to America this week with Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan for his fight in Boston on June 5 and Stephen will spar WBA interim featherweight champion Javier Fortuna in New York. When we return will confirm the date and venue, but terms have been agreed and that fight will take place in July.”
The Rock has been on an impressive roll since that 96-94, 96-94, 96-95 2012 points reverse. He won the WBO European title, secured world top 15 ranking and registered an impressive ‘break through’ win over known British fighter Derry Matthews.
Having finally started to fulfill his potential and build momentum Collins, brother of Irish Boxing legend Steve, believes the time is right for him to bring the type of fight nights not seen since the Bernard Dunne era back to Dublin. And the coach believes Appleby is the perfect opponent to help kick start a capital revival.
“Dublin is crying out for a star to get behind and the boxing world knows Stephen has the talent to be a big star. Hopefully now with that added exposure the casual fans will give Stephen backing. Appleby is a great fight as it has that element of revenge, not to mention he is a good fighter, who is always in entertaining fights,” he added.
“Ormond’s fans want the injustice sorted and I know they will back their man in July. A win over Appleby also keeps Stephen moving toward a world title fight and if we get the numbers out he could like Bernard Dunne did, win that world title in his home town.”