Jordan Gill: I Just Like Upsetting People

Boxing Scene

Jordan Gill is aiming to make it two big away day wins in a row when he takes on Manchester’s former World Title challenger Zelfa Barrett in a must-win super featherweight showdown at the AO Arena this Saturday April 13, live worldwide on DAZN. 

Chatteris’ Gill, a former European and Commonwealth Champion at featherweight, stunned Irish hero Michael Conlan with a seventh-round stoppage win on away territory at the SSE Arena Belfast in December and immediately called for a world title shot in his post-fight interview.

“The Thrill” had been written off by many ahead of his last chance saloon clash with Conlan, but the 29-year-old, who is trained by Barry Smith out of the Ben Davison Performance Centre in Harlow, produced the performance of his career to catapult his name into the world title conversation in the 130 pounds division.

“Heading into the Conlan fight in December it was just laughable because everyone tipped him,” said Gill. “I knew how good I am. I knew what I’m capable of. I knew that I had to upset people. I knew I had to have something to prove. I proved people wrong and it was more pleasurable for me to do that.

“I knew the fight was mine from the first round. I rocked him heavy in the first round, dropped him in the second. From that point you know you have to be patient. Once you hurt someone once you know you’re going to do it again. It’s more about taking your time, tucking up a little bit, letting them burn themselves out and then going to town. That was the plan; it worked a treat.”

Gill came face-to-face with former European super featherweight champion Barrett yesterday at Manchester Hall as the pair kicked-off fight week proceedings ahead of Saturday’s stacked card that features two world title fights in Ellie Scotney vs. Segolene Lefebvre and Rhiannon Dixon vs. Karen Elizabeth Carabjal. 

“Brown Flash” has further world title aspirations of his own having come up short against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the IBF title in Abu Dhabi back in November 2022, but Gill insists that his time is now and another big win this weekend will put him at the front of the line for a shot at gold. 

“I feel the best that I’ve ever felt,” said Gill. “I feel so strong. I feel rejuvenated. I’m not killing myself to make weight. I feel happy. I feel prepared; well prepared. I’m looking forward to a fantastic fight. I think it’s going to be mouth-watering; it’s one that everyone is talking about. I’m just dead excited. This is the chapter now where we’re going to make it all count.

“He looks well prepared. He looks ready. He looks like he’s got the bit between his teeth. He looks like he wants to hurt me. We’ve got to go in and do our job. I think there’s no way that this fight isn’t an exciting fight. I think I win this fight by knockout. This is what I’ve worked for; this is what I’ve dreamed of since I’ve been a kid.

“I just like upsetting people and I think I get a kick out of people telling me that I can’t win fights. Everyone expected me to lose the Conlan fight, and going in there and pulling it off – for me that’s exciting and that’s what boxing is all about. It’s all about the good fights and this is a really good fight. I’m ready to go to the well.

“For me, all of the pressure is on Zelfa. Everyone is expecting me to lose this fight. I’m coming to the lion’s den again. Everyone is making me the underdog again. No problem, just put all of that pressure on him and we’ll turn up, do what we need to do and come away victorious. 

“To be the best you have to beat the best. So, to have a claim to a world title you have to go through these fights. Zelfa is a very good fighter, he wants a world title shot and he’s probably at the front of the queue, so I have to beat him to leapfrog him. That’s why we’re here.”

Gill vs. Barrett tops a huge night of boxing in Manchester, Catford’s Ellie Scotney (8-0) aims to unify the super bantamweight division when she puts her IBF world title on the line against France’s WBO World Champion Segolene Lefebvre (18-0, 1 KO), Warrington’s Rhiannon Dixon (9-0, 1 KO) looks to win her first world title when she takes on Argentina’s Karen Elizabeth Carabajal (21-1, 3 KOs) for the vacant WBO 140lbs crown.

Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jr (20-1, 5 KOs) defends his English super featherweight title against Birmingham’s Kane Baker (19-10-2, 1 KO). Liverpool middleweight prospect Ste Clarke (1-0, 1 KO) meets Swindon’s Jensen Irving (4-9) over four rounds, Oxford lightweight Jordan Flynn (9-0-1, 1 KO) fights Tanzania’s Tampela Maharusi (10-4-4, 5 KOs) over eight rounds, liverpool super flyweight Jack Turner (5-0, 5 KOs) goes for another knockout against Abdul Kesi Ngaoma (7-5-1, 6 KOs), Brentwood middleweight Jimmy Sains (3-0, 3 KOs) has his fourth pro fight against Mateusz Kalecki (2-1, 1 KO), Manchester super welterweight William Crolla (3-0, 2 KOs) faces Italy’s Fabio Cascone (4-9, 1 KO) over six rounds and Swansea super bantamweight Brandon Scott (6-0, 1 KO) returns for his first fight since last August when he takes on Rodrigo Matias Areco (5-5-2) over six rounds. 

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