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Gill’s Preparing For Barrett With A New-Found Sense Of Peace

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Of all of boxing’s clichés, few hold more truth than the claim that a happy fighter is a dangerous fighter.

Nothing is more certain to make a fighter unhappy than struggling to make weight. The feeling can last for weeks on end and comes with a growing feeling of dread about just how bad the final 24 hours before the weigh-in will be. 

Unsurprisingly, a brutal battle with the scales makes the miserable fighter much less dangerous in the ring.

Jordan Gill (28-2-1, 9 KOs) is the perfect case in point. Gill is getting ready for his 130lbs clash with Zelfa Barrett in Manchester on April 13 and is delighted that he can concentrate fully on the fight rather than his weight.

Having spent years at super featherweight and lightweight, Gill shot to prominence after dropping down to featherweight in 2018. 

After consistently succeeding things went wrong during a brutal 2022. Following dragging himself back from the very edge of disaster to knock out Karim Guerfi and win the European featherweight title in a bruising war, Gill suffered a terrible fourth round knockout defeat by Kiko Martinez and called time on his run at 126lbs. 

After a long break he accepted an assignment at super featherweight and travelled to Belfast in December 2023 to take on local hero Michael Conlan.

Four pounds may not sound like much, but to a fighter like Gill it is a huge amount, and in his performance against Conlan it showed. He breathed new life into his career by stopping the Irishman in seven impressive rounds. 

“It was such a nice experience to go to super feather and feel like myself again,” Gill said.

“For probably three years I should have gone up. It was just too hard to make feather. You can make it but there’s a difference between making a weight and performing at it. 

“It was probably my best performance since Ryan Doyle [who Gill beat back in 2018] or maybe Emmanuel Dominguez in Peterborough. Since then it’s been downhill really, and it’s frustrating because I could have done a lot more in my career, but we’re here now and looking forward to getting this fight done and won and moving on to bigger ones.”

After his shocking but impressive victory over Conlan, Gill spoke openly about the serious personal problems he overcame just to make it into the ring in Belfast. Having a target to work towards helped the 29 year old get his life back in order and, in turn, beating Conlan reinvigorated his career. Gill enters the fight with Barrett in the best place he has been for some time. 

“It’s a period that I’m enjoying – I’m happy in myself,” he said. “Happy at my new weight. Happy with my performance last time even though it wasn’t perfect. I’m happy to be back in a big fight.

“Your career is always at the forefront of your mind and boxing has always been my life. To be back on track is a nice feeling. It brings you peace outside of boxing as well. Everything in life is going smoothly and I want it to continue.”

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