Jordan Gill Suffers Shock Defeat in Nottingham
By Jack Price
Tonight showed us once again that anything can happen in boxing. Rising British featherweight Jordan Gill was a huge favourite to successfully defend his WBA International featherweight title in Nottingham tonight on the JD NXTGEN show but his opponent Enrique Tinoco clearly hadn’t read the script as he upset the odds and gave Gill the first defeat of his professional career.
I, along with many other people, had very big expectations for Gill. I actually said in the preview for this fight that I thought he was one of the brightest young talents in the UK right now.
Gill was in incredible form going into this fight and was starting to make a name for himself, and edge himself into true world class. But something just seemed off with him tonight.
For the first two rounds he boxed well but from the 3rd round onwards, he looked in trouble every time Tinoco got close to him. It all started to go downhill towards the end of the 3rd when Gill got dropped from a sickening body shot. Tinoco then continued the onslaught in the 4th, piling relentless pressure on his younger opponent.
Gill clearly hadn’t recovered properly from the first knockdown and he went down again from another body shot in the 5th round meaning that he already had a big gap to close on the cards.
He did actually dig deep and bounce back to win the next two rounds on my card but the Mexican was straight back on him again in the 8th and dropped him with yet another body shot in the final seconds of the round.
It was clear Gill was struggling in there and his trainer Dave Coldwell took the decision to pull him out before the 9th round began, to the dismay of Gill and his fans but to the delight of Tinoco and the small team he brought over from Mexico with him.
Gill had an excuse for his poor performance after the fight:
“I don’t want to make any excuses but I’m going to. I’ve been on the toilet all afternoon. I think I’ve got food poisoning. That wasn’t me in there. I was terrible.”
Gill did go on to congratulate his opponent though and admitted he deserved to win on the night. The 24-year old also said that he wants the rematch with Tinoco when he is 100% and believes it would be a completely different story if he was:
“This guy wouldn’t live with me on my best day” he said. “I don’t wanna stand here and say that because he won the fight. He brought his A-game but this wasn’t Jordan Gill in there tonight.”
Nobody likes to hear excuses from a fighter after a loss or poor performance and the fans will choose whether to believe him or not but there was definitely something wrong with him tonight. If he really was ill, it was completely the wrong opponent to be in there with because Tinoco refused to give him an ounce of rest the entire night.
Whatever the reason for Gill’s defeat you can’t take anything away from the 29-year old Mexican tonight as he did what had to do and got the victory in a fight barely anybody expected him to win. This victory will open the door for him for some bigger fights down the road.
I think it’d be interesting to see him up against Leigh Wood next who is Gill’s long-time close friend and flatmate.
Wood boxed in the chief support and put on a career-best performance defending his Commonwealth title for the first time against Ryan Doyle. Wood cruised through every round, barely taking a punch the entire fight, and knocked out his opponent with a vicious left hook in the 10th round.
Doyle was meant to provide a bit of a test for Wood but he was made to look average as Wood oozed confidence in front of his home crowd of Nottingham. Wood is starting to build some momentum right now, with two big knockout wins in two months and he will be looking to keep this going.
If Gill doesn’t get the rematch straight away then Wood vs Tinoco makes sense next. It’s another step up and challenge for Wood and it also gives him the opportunity to get some revenge for his best pal so it’s got a bit of a background story to it too.
Eddie Hearn praised his man after the fight and said he’s got the potential to bring big time boxing back to Nottingham. If he continues to put in performances like that I’m sure there’s plenty of big nights to come for him in the next few years!
Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images