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.”
Brandon Bennett vs Dalton Smith on Aug. 1, Live on DAZN
Nathan Bennett says he is ready to seize a “once in a lifetime” opportunity when he takes on highly-rated Matchroom prospect Dalton Smith this Saturday August 1 on the opening weekend of Fight Camp, shown live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.
Trained by former professional Light-Middleweight boxer Steve Harkin, Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs) has fought exclusively in his home city of Liverpool since making his professional debut with a 40-36 points win over Lithuania’s Andrej Cepur at the BT Convention Centre in November 2017.
The 27-year-old notched another six wins before suffering his first defeat in the pros against Birmingham’s Ben Fields at the Olympia in October last year. He bounced back from that disappointment with wins over Stu Greener and most recently Michael Mooney.
Despite having only fought on non-televised small hall shows up until this point, the Steve Wood-managed fighter insists he won’t be overawed when he squares off with Sheffield’s most successful amateur of all time in the unique and breathtaking outdoor setting at Matchroom HQ.
“It’s an ask but I’m definitely capable of beating him or I wouldn’t have taken the fight,” said Bennett. “I was driving in my car when I got a phone call off my manager Steve Wood and he said ‘what do you reckon on this Dalton Smith?’. I just told him to make the fight.
“Let’s face it, I wouldn’t have been boxing until next year if it wasn’t for this fight would I. He fought just before lockdown and so did I so we’re both going to be there and we’re both going to be fresh. He fought on the 7th of March and then I fought on the 14th of March.
“I couldn’t get out of bed for some of my earlier opponents because I knew I was going to beat them. That’s the honest truth. It was unprofessional of me but that’s definitely not the case for this fight. These are the fights that get me out of bed.
“I’m not like those fighters that he’s fought and he’s going to find that out the 1st of August. Weight isn’t going to be an issue for me. I’m six foot so I’ve got the height advantage. I’ll meet him straight in the middle. They’re most probably underestimating my boxing ability. I had 80 fights as an amateur, won two titles and boxed everywhere. It’s going to be a good fight.
“They’re all 50-50 fights on every show otherwise they wouldn’t have put them on. It’s great exposure for me. I don’t think this will ever happen again. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and it will be watched all around the world. This is my opportunity. This was meant to be for me. There’s no expectations of me but I’ve got expectations of myself.”
Smith vs. Bennett 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), Belfast’s big-hitting James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) takes on Cardiff’s Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) for the vacant British Lightweight Title, 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 Chatteris talent Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) in an electric Featherweight battle.