JORDAN GILL was finally given the chance to fulfil his potential last October and it was an opportunity that “The Thrill” wasn’t going to let slip through his fingers, after years of waiting on the sidelines.
Gill was almost punch perfect as he breezed past Ryan Doyle, stopping his domestic rival in seven rounds, to claim the Commonwealth featherweight title and put the frustration behind him, as he now looks forward to what could be an exciting 2019 for the 24-year-old.
It all begins on Saturday for the unbeaten 22-0 star, when he takes on Mexican Emmanuel Dominguez, 24-7-2-, at the East of England Arena in Peterborough. Gill will headline the card, not far from his Chatteris home, on Sky Sports and could also secure a world ranking with the WBA, whose International belt will be up for grabs.
“It’s what I’ve been working towards and I’ve finally achieved it, but I can’t rest on my laurels and I want to move on to what’s next. It was billed as a 50/50 and most people ended up picking Ryan Doyle and saying how hard a fight it was for me. He had the experience, the power and over the championship distance he was expected to beat me, but I showed what a 50/50 fight between us looked like. It shows how much I’ve grown, how much confidence I have in my training,” he told Boxing News.
“I’ve not watched too much of Dominguez, but I know what will be coming my way. He’s only been stopped once and that was by Emanuel Navarrete, who just beat Isaac Dogboe for the WBO world title at super-bantamweight so this is a tough test and another chance to shine in front of my home crowd.
“All fighters just want to be active and an opportunity, which has happened for me since I moved to Dave Coldwell. I have to keep performing, but so far, so good and I couldn’t ask for any more in a manager and trainer. If Dave didn’t take me on, I was going to retire, well not even that because you have to have had a career to retire, so I was just going to call it quits. It wasn’t worth it at that point. But, looking at where I am now, I appreciate what Dave has done for me even more.”
Gill has flourished in recent times, ever since he relocated to train with Coldwell at his Rotherham base. He has quickly become one of British boxing’s most highly touted prospects and aims to add to to that growing reputation with another excellent performance against Dominguez.
He is confident that there is still plenty more to come and that the standout win over Doyle will be just the beginning for him, which he hopes will also involve more headline fights in the Cambridge area, where big nights are a rarity.
“You always learn from your wins, but you learn more from the failures and losses. He has changed me quite a lot and it has 100% been a massive change for the better. I’m more solid and a more complete fighter, like he’s been adding a lot of inside work and pressure fighting, whilst my defence has improved no end. All the work will come out on fight night, although against Ryan Doyle, I don’t actually think I showed that much in the end, not even 50% actually, so there is so much more to come,” he said.
“To be back home and fighting locally is huge for me as well. The area has been starved of these big nights, as there hasn’t been the talent coming through recently, so it’s hard to put anything on with any real meaning. With a big win on Saturday, I can set the trend and we can keep coming back.”
Gill was previously based in the famous Ingle Gym in Wincobank, Sheffield, a gym well known for fighters of all ages and abilities training alongside each other on a daily basis.
But, Gill believes that since the switch to the quieter Rotherham surroundings has helped him as a fighter, as he reaps the rewards of sparring with former world champion Jamie McDonnell and his twin, Gavin, who has also challenged for world honours.
He points to this as one of the major reasons he shone under the lights against Doyle and is adamant that he will continue to shine on a regular basis in more big fights.
“You get great in-house sparring and when we’re all in camp together, it’s massive for you. Jamie and Gavin threw a thousand punches a round and they’re known for coming on late in fights, so the tempo never drops, which only helps you and they have brought me on a lot, so I’ll be there for them when they need it as well,” he said.
“You know the level that you train at in the gym, but to do it in the ring is a different thing. For me not to prove to myself what I had been doing in the gym under the lights against Doyle would have been terrible, but ultimately I showed everyone what I can do. Now I want more big fights and to keep improving on a daily basis.
“Dominguez is the first step on that path. I’m always learning and I honestly believe that we haven’t scratched the surface yet, so there’s plenty more to come from me. I’m 24, so I shouldn’t come into my prime for a couple of years yet, although it may come earlier than that. When I do hit it, it will be truly exciting to see what I can do and go on to achieve.”