Betfair starts the countdown to Anthony Joshua's massive unification fight against Joseph Parker by meeting 21-year-old Nathan Gorman, widely tipped to be the next big thing among the British heavyweights jostling for world recognition.
"I think Joshua beats Parker inside eight rounds. Parker’s strong and found a way to beat Hughie, but I just think Joshua has more weapons. I can’t see Parker being able to go the distance with him."
Hi Nathan, we've found you on a trip to London sparring at the Don Charles gym where Derek Chisora is based. What are your plans for your next fight and your targets for the year?
At the moment I'm training hard and waiting, but my aim is to start fighting for titles in 2018. I know Hughie Fury is fighting Sam Sexton for the British title in May, and I don't know his plans but I'd guess he'd probably vacate then because he wants a world ranking back. So that might give a chance. I'd like to go for either the British or European title or another international belt, so that I can move forward.
We've watched you working here with Ricky Hatton and you are normally based at his gym in Manchester. Tell us about him.
He's phenomenal. Every day I learn something new. He's been there and got every single tee shirt, he worked his way through the British titles, he's fought the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquio, he was ranked pound for pound. If he can't teach you there is something wrong.
Is he very hands on?
Yes, he's with me every day in the gym, Monday to Friday we train twice a day and he's with me every step of the way. If I do something wrong he'll have me there until I get it right, he's a perfectionist and that's exactly what you need.
Was it Ricky that encouraged you to turn pro when you were still only 19?
At the time I was on the Great Britain squad. I'd been on it for a year and a half and to be totally honest the amateur scene wasn't really for me. I set out to be a professional. While I was on the squad I got the chance to go to Ricky Hatton's gym and do some padwork, and he liked what he saw and had me back every week. I told him I was falling out of love with the Great Britain squad, and he offered to train me and give me a professional contract. Speak to any boxer worldwide and you won't turn an offer like that down.
What did that do for your confidence?
Massive. I was a big Ricky Hatton fan anyway. I had a poster of him on my bedroom wall. For my childhood hero to offer to manage me, promote me and train me it couldn't get any better.
It's an exciting time on the heavyweight scene in this country with Joshua, Tyson and Hughie Fury, Chisora, David Haye due to meet Tony Bellew again. Does that rub off on you?
Definitely. You look around at all the possibilities and you know if you keep working and improving there are big opportunities to come.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you get into boxing?
I always wanted to do boxing from as long as I can remember but my dad would never let me go to the gym. He didn't want me to do it. I can understand why now! One day I snuck off behind his back and went with my cousin and I fell in love from the day I walked in. Eventually I owned up and told my dad, and he didn't take it too well but he said if it is something you are that passionate about then I'll take you.
A Joshua fan
Haven't you got fighting connections in your family though?
That's right. My dad's uncle was Bartley Gorman, an undefeated bare knuckle fighter for 20 years in the travelling community, and my granddad was a bare knuckle fighter too.
As we said it's an amazing time for the British heavyweight scene. Are you an Anthony Joshua fan?
Yes I am, I think everyone is. You can't help but admire him - that fight with Klitschko he ticked a lot of boxes. I think he's set a standard for the likes of myself to aspire to.
Does he beat Parker?
I think he beats him inside eight rounds. Parker's strong and found a way to beat Hughie, but I just think Joshua has more weapons. I can't see Parker being able to go the distance with him.
And then what about Deontay Wilder?
That will be a good fight, two explosive punchers. I know Deontay is not the best for boxing ability but he's very strong and powerful and explosive, you can't switch off for one second in a 12 round fight with him because if he hits you it will hurt. Joshua is extremely strong too so he will be just as dangerous. Will be an amazing fight.
And how many years down the line do you get your turn to meet the winner?
Bring it on! Being sensible I reckon two to three years, that's the sort of target. Just keep developing, keep listening, keep working hard and I'll get there.
We hope you do, and we've a free £50 bet with winnings to a charity of your choice to say thanks for your time.
That's great - the charity can be Prostate Cancer UK and I believe Manchester City will win their treble - which with the Premier League all but wrapped up now effectively means just backing them for the Champions League at [4.5].