Richard Ord: The secret’s in the name...

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NEVER underestimate the value of a nickname. Get it right and it can be your ticket to success.

Think Elle “The Body” Macpherson or ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson.

Get it wrong though and you can get into trouble. I was once hauled over the coals for giving a top Sunderland police officer the moniker The Terminator. She wasn’t best pleased.

In the fight game, nicknames are all the rage. In fact, I don’t believe there is a fighter who doesn’t have a nickname. Historically, no matter how bad the fighter, he is bestowed with a distinctive and, ideally, a rather aggressive title. Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns for example.

But things may be changing.

The Echo this week published a the story of kickboxer Ryan Surtees, whose first fight will be dedicated to Royal Marine Commando Tony Evans, who died while serving in Afghanistan.

On the bill at the event will be a team of fighters known as Knuckle Force, a name which suggests someone is going to be on the wrong end of a flying fist or two.

And, indeed, the fighters listed certainly suggested they were a pretty tough crew, erm, to begin with.

I mean, while Matt “The Wrecking Machine” Howard hints at a high degree of violence for whoever crossed his path, things weren’t so awe inspiring with Bill “Dangermouse” Coultas. Not really that intimidating, unless you happen to be a cartoon toad called Baron Greenback.

My favourite however was fighter Nathan Thompson. His fear-inducing nickname? Chicken. Yes, Nathan “Chicken” Thompson.

It’s either a bluff, a typing error, or a rare display of honesty from a fight promoter. The sort of thing not seen since heavyweight champion David “the Haymaker” Haye despatched Audley “Scaredy Cat” Harrison last year.

The Knuckle Force bash takes place next Saturday at the Park Hotel, Tynemouth. Here’s hoping Nathan “Chicken” Thompson turns up.

- As an aside, I have my own nickname, bestowed on me by my wife and adopted by the rest of our family. The world trembles when confronted with Richard “Reasonably Useful” Ord, I can tell you.