The British cruiserweight division has been put on red-alert with the entry into the professional ranks of Liverpool’s dynamite-punching John Gillies on Saturday 18th April at the Echo Arena.
The former MMA, K1, Thai and Kickboxing fighter will make his explosive pro-debut in a four-round contest on the undercard of Derry Mathews’ challenge for the WBA World Lightweight Title against champion Richar Abril, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
At 32, Gillies does not have any amateur boxing experience and knows he hasn’t got the luxury of time to develop like a young prospect, but believes his crucial high-level experience in combat sports will serve him well in his quest to become a British Champion and ultimately a World Champion.
The Scouse powerhouse has fought all over the globe, racking up 11 knockout out of 12 wins in the MMA cage and 50 combined wins on the K1, Thai and kickboxing circuits.
Gillies intends to retain his trademark explosive attacking style that marked him as one of the most exciting fighters on the MMA circuit, but under the guidance of trainers at the Everton Red Triangle gym – which houses outstanding Merseyside Champions Kevin Satchell, Jazza Dickens and Ryan Farrag – he will add the vital ring smart to complete his game.
Ahead of his pro-debut, Gillies has also been racking up the rounds in sparring with British and Commonwealth Cruiserweight title challenger Matty Askin who faces Ovill McKenzie for the belts on Friday 27th March in London.
Combat sports isn’t the only area Gillies is talented in, he was also a professional footballer on the books with Everton, Manchester City and Tranmere Rovers as a reserve goalkeeper, but boxing is now his number one focus.
“I can’t wait to make my professional debut in boxing and I believe it will be the start of an exciting time for me and my fans,” Said Gillies.
“I’ve competed in almost every combat sport at a high level and boxing is the one sport that I haven’t made my mark in. I’m a extremely competitive and set myself high standards of achievement so if I had any doubts at all that I couldn’t hit my targets in boxing I wouldn’t do it,”
“While I’m 32 and I’ve not had any amateur boxing experience, the years of high level competition I’ve fought at internationally on the MMA, K1, Thai and Kickboxing circuits more than compensates for this. In addition, over the years I’ve sparred with plenty of pro boxers including Courtney Fry, Tom Dallas and Matty Askin so I know that I can do this,”
“I’ve got no worries getting into the ring at all, I love fighting and go for the knockout every time, but I know that boxing will be different to what I’ve done in the past. And I’m looking forward to coming out of the ring without broken feet!”
“My fans who have supported all through my career come and watch me for a good reason, I give them knockouts and entertainment. They have been loyal supporters for many years and now they will join me on my quest to become a champion in my new sporting code.”
“These are just words, now it is time for me to turn them into action and deliver in the ring and prove that I’m good on my word and I will do that.”
Derry Mathews’ challenge for the WBA World Lightweight title against champion Richar Abril on Saturday 28th February headlines a quality-packed card featuring Liverpool stars: undefeated super-talent Joe Selkirk, the former WBO European Light-Middleweight Champion, makes his long awaited return to the ring in an eight round contest; fast rising welterweight prospect Stephen Lewis, who’s unbeaten in eight fights, returns to action in six-rounder; all-action light-middleweight James Metcalf, the mirror image of his father in the ring, Liverpool legend Shea “The Shamrock Express” Neary, looks to continue his unbeaten eight fights; two hot young talents make their professional debuts on the shows: hard-hitting cruiserweight John Gillies and flyweight Andrew Cain.
Tickets are available from the Liverpool Echo Arena Box Office on 0844 8000 400 or echoarena.com and Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or eventim.co.uk
BoxNation will televise live and exclusive on Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and Talk Talk 525. Subscribe at www.boxnation.com Or watch online at Livesport.tv and via iPhone, iPad or Android.