By: Sean Crose
It ended up being all about power. That sort of thing is not uncommon to read about in a fight publication, but junior lightweight Jordan Gill had never been known as a power puncher. At least he hadn’t until Saturday night in Belfast, when he stopped the popular and gutsy Michael Conlan in seven. The story was actually a rather simple one. The 6-1 underdog Gill landed on his man in the first, dropped his man in the second, and remained a cool and, yes, powerful fighter for the following five rounds until referee Harold Foster stepped in and put an end to things before the end of the seventh chapter.
Not that Conlan looked terrible in his junior lightweight debut. There were times throughout the bout where, feet firmly planted, Conlan landed and landed well. In truth, the Irishman had some impressive moments where he was able to land to Gill’s body. He simply couldn’t weather the storm of Gill’s punches when they landed clean, and that was all there was to it. Every time the Englishman landed well, it appeared that Conlan felt it. It was a shame, really, as Conlan clearly had the heart and skill to succeed. The man just didn’t have the ability to take it. Frankly, not many can.
Watching the final seconds of the bout, with Conlan being battered against the ropes by the determined Gill, one couldn’t help but feel Conlan could have absorbed more punishment – but then what? Too many fighters have received serious damage because a bout wasn’t stopped quickly enough. It’s simply not worth it run that kind of risk. What happens with Conlan now is anyone’s guess. With an 18-3 record, the 32 year old has now lost three of his last five fights by stoppage.
As for the now 28-2-1 Gill, the moment couldn’t be sweeter. After having been stopped in four rounds by Keiko Martinez in his last fight, the 29 year old entered the ring needing a victory as much as Conlan did. People didn’t think he’d get the victory, of course, but he did. Suffice to say, after going through a dark time as recently as this past summer, Gill has ended the year on a very high note. “I was in a filed,” he recalled post-fight of a day last July. “I drunk a liter of vodka and I was going to kill myself and somebody saved me.”
Light emerging from the darkness.
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