Home   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Chatteris fighter Jordan Gill turns his life around with career-best win over hot favourite Michael Conlan in Belfast





An emotional Jordan Gill pulled off the biggest win of his boxing career on Saturday night in Belfast, before revealing that five months ago he was contemplating ending his life.

Chatteris fighter GIll, 29, paved the way for a possible World Super Featherweight title shot after stopping hot favourite Michael Conlan during a blistering performance in front of a partisan home crowd in Northern Ireland.

Fighting at his new weight for the first time, Gill dominated the Irishman, knocking down the two-time world title contender in the second round with a strong left and follow-up right for an eight count, before the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round after a flurry of punches.

Jordan Gill lands another punch against Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill lands another punch against Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

After the fight, and visibly holding back tears, Gill told the 11,000-capacity crowd at the SSE Arena: “I’ve had a hard year. Not many people know what I have been through. After the Kiko (Martínez) loss, I lost touch with myself. I broke up with my wife. On June 30 I was in a field, I drank a litre of vodka and I was going to kill myself, and somebody saved me that day.

“I went to Ben Davison’s gym, I worked so hard. My team has supported me, my dad has been by my side, my friends and my family have been there supporting me. I cannot thank them all enough.

“I have changed my life. I’m opening my own gym next week with my friend Damien, I’ve turned my life around in the last four months. So if you are thinking ‘what am I doing with my life?’ you can do it, you can make a change.

Jordan Gill celebrates his WBA International Super Featherweight Title win with dad Paul. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill celebrates his WBA International Super Featherweight Title win with dad Paul. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

“Just have that belief in yourself and go and do it because nobody believed I could win tonight but I did.”

On the WBA International Super Featherweight title fight itself, Gill added: “I enjoyed it and it’s been a great week in Belfast. I went into the champion’s backyard and won. He’s a world-class fighter and I have the utmost respect for him.

“I’m just a small kid from Chatteris. I’m from Fenland, I represent the Fens and I’m proud to do so. We don’t have champions where I come from but I want to be a world champion. I’ve done everything but become world champion and I think I deserve a shot after this win.

“The plan was to make Mick work. I knew that he lacked efficiency. I knew I could hurt him with either hand and I knew I would. I hurt him every round.

Jordan Gill celebrates in front of the Belfast crowd. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill celebrates in front of the Belfast crowd. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

“I thought it could have been stopped in the second round when I dropped him down heavy but after he got up I knew I was going to get him. It was just a matter of time.

“I knew Conlan had so much heart, he is such a proud man and in front of his Belfast fans, with over 200 countries watching around the world, I knew he would be dangerous. I had to take my time in wearing him down.

“The new weight makes it a different ball game. Looking back, I should have moved up weights about three years ago after my first defeat.

Jordan Gill lands a punch on Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill lands a punch on Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

“I knew I could make featherweight but I just couldn’t perform at that weight. I couldn’t hold a shot against Kiko. I was bouncing up and down off the floor like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. It was bloody embarrassing.”

Promoter Eddie Hearn confirmed that a world title shot is now a real possibility for ‘The Thrill,’ saying: “It was a breathtaking performance. What a massive night for Jordan. To be completely honest I thought Conlan was a big favourite. Jordan has been out for over a year and we didn’t know, as a team, what he had left other than what he was telling us.

“But from the moment he scored the knockdown, I looked at him in the neutral corner and there was something in his eye tonight that just said ‘I’m going to do it’.

Jordan Gill celebrates with his belt. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill celebrates with his belt. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

“That was not just a career-best performance, that was a life-changing performance. This was it for him tonight. If he gets beat his career is over but all of a sudden he puts in a performance like that and he is screaming for a shot at the world title.

“The story that he told is a great one and it is a wonderful inspiration to people and shows you what he came back from.

“To come here and beat Conlan after a year out was amazing. Moving up to super featherweight, he looked like a different fighter. This has gone from what looked like his final payday to opening up a few new chapters.

“And it is really exciting, I’m pleased for him. He’s a lovely fella and he’s been European Champion, Commonwealth Champion, WBA Champion and always looked on the verge of doing something in the sport.

Jordan Gill in action against Michael Conlan in Belfast. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill in action against Michael Conlan in Belfast. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)

“Tonight he did do something in the sport and it is going to be exciting to see where it goes from here. After beating Conlan in Belfast, why not a shot at the world title? You’ve got Joe Cordina, you’ve got Emanuel Navarrete, you’ve got so many great champions in this division.”

Jordan’s dad Paul, part of his training team, said: “I love my son like every parent should love their children. I love him to bits and I’m very proud. He has had a tough time, the whole family has struggled.

“He was down, he has come back up and it just goes to show that if you can believe in yourself, you can do anything. Now Eddie has said he hopes to get Jordan a world title shot. He deserves it.”

Jordan Gill lands another hard punch against Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill lands another hard punch against Michael Conlan. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill celebrates an amazing win. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill celebrates an amazing win. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill knocks over Michael Conlan in Round Two. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill knocks over Michael Conlan in Round Two. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Promoter Eddie Hearn talked of a world title shot for Jordan Gill. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Promoter Eddie Hearn talked of a world title shot for Jordan Gill. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill knocks down Michael Conlan in Round Two. Picture: Matthew Pover (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill knocks down Michael Conlan in Round Two. Picture: Matthew Pover (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill walks away after ending the fight. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
Jordan Gill walks away after ending the fight. Picture: Mark Robinson (Matchroom Boxing)
The final flurry of punches from Jordan Gill ends the contest. Picture: Matthew Pover (Matchroom Boxing)
The final flurry of punches from Jordan Gill ends the contest. Picture: Matthew Pover (Matchroom Boxing)

Got a sports story? Email jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More