Jordan Gill says his boxing career was close to being KO’d by Thyroid Disease after a nasty battle with the disorder at the back end of last year left the Chatteris talent seriously considering his future in the squared circle.
Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) was riding the crest of a wave having impressed with eye-catching stoppage wins over Ryan Doyle and Emmanuel Dominguez before a shock defeat to Mexico’s Mario Enrique Tinoco at the Nottingham Arena in May signalled the start of a frustrating spell.
The 26-year-old managed to return from his first career loss with a win over Yesner Talavera in Florence, Italy but his joy was short-lived after he was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout in December as his health issues worsened.
Having now put his medical issues behind him, ‘The Thrill’ is fully focused on getting a win over British rival Reece Bellotti this Saturday on Fight Camp Week 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US, to catapult himself back to where he was before his loss to Tinoco.
“A lot of people don’t realise how serious the health issues I had were,” explained Gill. “I thought I’d never box again. I thought I’d never be the same again. It turned my boxing life and my personal life upside down. I was struggling with my training, my heart rate was going through the roof. I was sweating at night, I was constantly hungry and I had no energy.
“Something had to change so I got a blood test and I was diagnosed. At first I was misdiagnosed so I went through all of the private testing and paid a lot of money for private doctors to give me the correct diagnoses. I’m glad to be putting behind me because it was a big worry at the time. I thought my life in boxing was over but thankfully we’ve got the all clear and we’re on the mend. I’m back feeling good, back to where I should be.
“They were constantly testing my bloods, making sure that my Thyroid Gland was working the way it should be. It flared right up. I was losing weight constantly, but being out of shape and losing muscle. I was eating no end but not putting any weight on. Then it went under-active and I wasn’t eating at all but putting loads and loads of weight on – for a boxer that’s quite daunting.
“I thought I was going to have to find something else. I thought I was going to have to find another path in life. For someone that puts 100% into one thing, I put all my eggs in one basket with boxing, it’s a scary thing. That’s the way I live my life. If I attack something, I’m attacking it with 100% and that’s what I do with boxing. To have it possibly being taken away from you is a massive thing.
“I think even without the Thyroid issues I’ve not been in a competitive fight for a long time, last time I boxed in Italy in a six rounder in September. It’s been a long time out of the ring and people will expect me to be a bit cautious or not be firing on all cylinders. I’ve got no excuses though, I’ve prepared in the best way possible. I’ve been diligent with my training and I’ve left no stone unturned. I’ve got no excuses and the better man will win on the night.”
Tennyson vs Gwynne
James Tennyson believes he has found his perfect weight after moving up to the 135lbs division where he has finished all four of his contests inside the distance in brutal fashion, earning him a shot at the vacant British Lightweight Title against Gavin Gwynne on Saturday August 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
The big-hitting Belfast powerhouse (26-3, 22 KOs) was originally scheduled to face Gwynne at the Motorpoint Arena Cardiff in May before COVID-19 put the sporting world on hold, but now gets the opportunity to make it two KOs in a row over Welsh opponents following his 11th round stoppage win over Craig Evans.
An impressive six-fight unbeaten streak at Super-Featherweight saw ‘The Assassin’ secure his first World Title shot against IBF ruler Tevin Farmer in Boston in October 2018. Tennyson says he suffered badly in attempting to shed weight before the fight and insists he feels much more comfortable at Lightweight as he looks to mount a fresh World Title charge at Matchroom Fight Camp.
“My last few fights at Super-Featherweight were starting to really push me on the weight as the fights went on,” admitted Tennyson. “Once the fight with Tevin Farmer came about it was one fight too many with doing the weight. I’m a natural Lightweight now, it’s not a push or a struggle to do the weight. I’m feeling strong, fit and healthy at the weight. Things have gone from strength-to-strength for me with four straight knockout wins so the move up in weight has done me good.
“Not cutting that extra few pounds is really helping my performances, I’m a lot stronger at the weight which makes a big difference. My record shows that I’m one of the hardest-hitting Lightweights in the division at the minute. I prepare for 12 hard rounds, but of course I’ll always be looking for that moment where you can just end the fight. My experience and my power will be a big factor in the fight. It always presents itself at some stage, it’s just when that opportunity arises, whether it’s round one or round twelve, I’ll pounce on it.
“This is a massive fight for my career. Gavin is a real tough lad. We’re both two come forward fighters and I believe that our styles are going to gel. It’s going to be a good war and I feel like this is a must-win fight for me. I’ll be ready come fight night. You can’t look past Gavin because he’s a big tough guy but down the line I want another World Title shot. Get this one out of the way and I’ll start chasing down that World Title.”
GWYNNE: THIS HAS GOT ‘WAR’ WRITTEN ALL OVER IT
Welshman predicts late stoppage win against Tennyson
Gavin Gwynne is expecting an all-out war when he squares off with Belfast’s big-hitting James Tennyson for the vacant British Lightweight Title on the first week of Matchroom Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex on Saturday August 1, live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) will become the first Welshman to fight since the coronavirus pandemic hit when he attempts to win the prestigious Lord Lonsdale Challenge Belt at the second attempt next week in the evening’s co-main event.
His first shot at the famous belt came against Cardiff’s Joe Cordina on the undercard of the blockbuster PPV World Title clash between Vasiliy Lomachenko and Luke Campbell at The O2 last August. He fell short in that fight against a slick operator but the 30-year-old says Tennyson’s aggressive style will play into his hands.
“This has got a war written all over,” said Gwynne. “I don’t like to take a backwards step and I know Tennyson just comes forward. He’s a massive puncher and I’ve got to use my boxing ability. With Joe it was a totally different fight, I had to go forwards, he’s a lot quicker but Tennyson just holds his feet and just likes to bang away.
“The guys I fight are usually a lot shorter and aren’t as strong as me so I’m the one pushing forward. I think I’m going to stop him late on but I know James is going to be on the front foot and he’s going to be trudging forward trying to take my head clean off. I’m going to show him my boxing ability and show what I can do on my feet. I’ll show him a bit of my power too.
“He’s a really good fighter obviously. He fought for a World Title a couple of years ago. You don’t get to that level without being a great fighter. I just think I’ve got the beating of him, I really do. There’s just something inside me telling me that. Nobody is going to beat me on August 1st.”
Tennyson vs. Gwynne lands on Week 1 of Matchroom Fight Camp, top of the bill sees Sam Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) put his IBF International Super-Welterweight Title on the line against Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs), Chatteris talent Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) in an electric Featherweight battle, fast-rising Ipswich Heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) steps up to take on Middlesbrough’s Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) for the vacant English belt and gifted Sheffield Super-Lightweight Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) squares off with Liverpool’s Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs).