After his successful return to the ring last week, on the first of the Matchroom Fight Camp shows, we got the chance to speak with Boxing Science athlete – Jordan “The Thrill” Gill.
Jordan was the first fighter that we interviewed as part of the ‘Boxing Science Interviews’ and was also the very first fighter to box after lockdown on Sky Sports.
You could say that being first is in Jordan’s nature and that showed after he beat Bellotti to the punch time and time again in a quality performance and came away with the very first win of the Fight Camp series…
Read on to hear about how fight night was for Jordan without the crowd, how much his training camp differed to the norm and of course, to find out whether or not “The Thrill” is keeping the afro, or getting rid!
Written by Tyler White
How are you doing & how has your week been after your win on Fight Camp #1?
Yeah it’s been great, just nice and chilled out! I’ve seen a lot of family and friends that I haven’t seen in a while; it’s been nice to relax and switch off to be honest.
I’ve had loads of mate’s popping out babies and I’ve not been able to meet any of them until now; so it’s great to catch up with people again.
I’m eating plenty of pizza’s too and I’m not sick of that yet!
Is that one of the best things post-fight, chilling out & relaxing after weeks of camp?
Yeah pretty much and I think that’s because everything leads up to one point…
You’re so focused on getting a good job done and making sure it all goes smoothly and that’s something which you can’t really see past at the time.
To have it over and to have that relief knowing that everything’s gone to plan and that you can finally, as I say, relax and switch off, especially after the stress of lockdown – it’s great.
Usually during camp I can see friends and spend a bit of time with family in between training, but with lockdown and COVID, I didn’t want to take the risk and jeopardise my fight; so I was solely just training and it made the camp a bit more intense than usual in that respect.
Do you think then, that lockdown made your training camp harder?
I wouldn’t say it made it harder, just different and it posed new challenges.
The only thing that was harder as such, was getting sparring. Luckily though, we did a great job of that and still got in some top rounds.
My flat-mate, Leigh Wood, helped me out a lot with that too.
How did you think the fight itself went & are you happy with your performance?
Yeah I’m happy…
I always say to Dave “If you’re happy, then I’m happy” because I’m not a good judge of what’s going on in the ring…
I just go out there, get the job done and follow the instructions!
Every round I was coming back to the corner and I was expecting Dave to say “Step it up!” or “Put your foot on the gas!” but every round I was going back and he was basically saying “Don’t do anything more than you’re already doing, because you’re winning the rounds comfortably”.
There was no need to take any unnecessary risks. Bellotti is a big puncher and if I started trading then I was just putting myself at risk; so I stuck to the game plan and I felt good in there.
I could’ve stepped it up a good few gears at any time, but I didn’t really need to!
The important thing is, is that I won that fight. As if I didn’t, it would’ve been hard to come back from. Now, I can carry on and hopefully get some more big fights and whatever titles I can get my hands on.
What was the whole “Fight Camp” experience like? Did it feel noticeably different with no crowd?
It was really interesting!
It was a great experience and was something that I might never be able to do again; so to be the first person in history to experience that was really cool and is something I’ll always remember.
It was weird with no spectators! In certain fights where there’s been the bigger crowds, I’ve hurt an opponent with some good shots and they’ve gone mental which lifts you…
That wasn’t there this time and there was no atmosphere what-so-ever; it felt almost like sparring. After the bell Reece and I just looked at each other a bit confused as we were expecting all kinds of interviews and stuff but there was nothing to do. I just found myself saying to him “What do we do now!?”
What sort of things did you do behind the scenes to pass the time in “The Bubble”?
Looking back at the behind the scenes stuff now for the second ‘Fight Camp’, it looks like everyone came better prepared than we did on week 1, as we didn’t know what to expect!
I spent most of the time in my hotel room just chilling. We didn’t have any cricket or football or whatever, but that suited me as I’m a bit of a hermit anyway…
I’m never really that bothered, I said to them “you can check me into the hotel room and you won’t see me again until fight night”, but Dave is the opposite and he’s always got to be up and doing something.
He’s a people’s person and I’m not really, I like my own company; so for me it was pretty cool. The media stuff only took like an hour each day, so the rest of the time I’d just put my feet up! I’d sit in bed and watch old fights or flick through Netflix!
What’s your plans now moving on from this fight?
Well, because there’s not going to be a lot of boxing for the rest of the year, I’m just looking to get out whenever I can.
The likelihood is that I’ll be out once more before the end of the year!
Now that I’ve won this big fight against Bellotti, realistically I should now keep on being in bigger and better fights. Therefore, whoever I come up against next will be a quality opponent.
Hopefully it’ll be for a title, but whatever they come up with I’ll be ready for, as I’m always training and in shape!
What’s training with Boxing Science like? What are the stand out features of the program – particularly during your most recent camp?
I’ve been training with Boxing Science for about 5 years now and it’s been brilliant. I really cannot fault Danny!
He’s been able to adapt my S&C so effectively throughout this lockdown training camp – obviously the setting has been very different – but at the start of lockdown I managed to get some great kit from Jordan fitness which was a bit of a god send.
Between Danny and I, we kind of put together a make-shift gym where we did a lot of my sessions. We also moved our runs to the outdoors, as opposed to the curve treadmills, which we are usually able to use.
We’ve not had the luxuries of the facilities at the Sheffield Hallam University this time around, but it just goes to show the quality of Danny’s programming as we’ve got results which are as good as; if not better than in previous camps.
In fact, I think it’s the best camp I’ve ever had and I really enjoyed it!
What was your perspective on S&C before working with boxing science? And how has that changed?
S&C was always something I’d been interested in, but I’d never really had the opportunity to get involved with it. My perspective on it hasn’t really changed, as even before I was working with Danny I was always watching and looking at his stuff.
I probably would say that I’ve just realised how important it is now, more than anything.
I’ve learnt so much about training, the body and what sort of S&C works best for me as well…
It’s one thing having the knowledge about certain exercises and muscle groups, but it’s another thing to be able to put together specific programs that work for the individual.
I’ve been lucky as I started young with Danny, I was about 19/20; so we’ve built up good foundations and despite being thrown into situations like lockdown, we’ve been able to work together and put something together that works well for me and still means I’m able to make significant adaptations to my strength and overall abilities – even with limited resources.
The good thing about working with Danny is that he never settles and is always learning. He’s always going on courses to learn more and in turn, I’m always learning from him every week.
For me, it’s important to have people around you that always want to improve and not people that are just happy to stay and settle where they are.
What are your favourite and least favourite things about the program?
I really like the strength work and I’ve always disliked running…
There are certain runs that I prefer compared to others, but they’re the sort of thing you just get done as that’s what’s needed if you want to have your hand raised!
In terms of the strength work, I really like the heavy lifts. I feel like for my weight I’m strong on the lifts and so the maximal strength block that we do during camps is usually my favourite – you usually only do 2 or 3 reps but you’re working with a very heavy load.
I feel like I get a lot out of it and I just enjoy that method of training.
How has the boxing science program benefitted your boxing performance?
All aspects of my boxing have improved since I started up the S&C. Before I started, I wasn’t strong at all.
I had no experience of S&C before I started training with Danny, but now I’m pretty experienced with it and instead of feeling like I’m waiting for that bell to ring, I’m boxing on with energy, explosiveness and power for the duration of each round, through the course of a fight.
I never think about the bell any more, I just keep on going – my physique has totally changed and I no longer have any fears of being man-handled as I’m so much stronger now. In fact, it’s usually me man-handling my opponents as I’ve grown in strength so much over the years.
It’s always good to see and feel the progress and I feel better and better with every camp.
Would you recommend the Boxing Science program to other fighters?
The good thing is, is that it’s successful for everybody…
Whether you’re able to do it 1-to-1 like me or whether you just take the program and do it on your own – you’re still going to see and feel results!
If you’re wanting support and aren’t local enough to Boxing Science then you can also do it like Fabio Wardley does it and do it with remote support.
Clearly it works, because look at his win last weekend!
Last but not least, you were sporting a new haircut in the ring this time around – is the afro here to stay or are you ditching it!?
I’m still deciding on that one.
The majority of people said to keep it, but then I’ve had a few people message me saying I look like I’m homeless…
But i’ll go with the majority for now, so for the time being – it’s staying!