By: Oliver McManus
Jordan Gill suffered a shock first defeat of his career last night in Nottingham, retiring after the eighth round in a contest that he never truly got into. Enrique Tinoco was the plucky Mexican to catch Gill unawares and did so in punishing style with unsympathetic salvos to the body of the Chatteris featherweight.
On paper this should have been a walk in the park for Gill given the manner in which he brushed aside Ryan Doyle and Emmanuel Dominguez: before the first round started it was more a question of ‘can he get another knockout?’, not ‘will he win?’. Tinoco was in altogether different mindset and, having initially weighed in 5oz over the limit, looked the far bigger man.
That disparity in size was made immediately obvious as Tinoco looked to be carrying that exrta heft behind his punches. There were no surprises as to the speed of this fight as both men looked to establish themselves from the off: neither fighting ceding centre ground. Gill was far more orthodox in leading with the jab whilst Tinoco made use of garish angles to find his man.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
Issues arose when the challenger landed with regularity to Gill’s body; the home fighter visibly tensed with as the blows totted up. In the third round Tinoco set things up with a lovely punch to the liver before a quick flurry of punches, thrown with Tinoco marching forward, saw Gill hit the canvas.
From there on in the body was route one for his opposite number, exploiting his achilles heel, and Gill just could not live with them. Every time Tinoco shimmied towards the inside he found Gill an unmissable target – something wasn’t quite right about the 24 year old – and it was only matter of time before he fell once more. A right hook crashed home in the fifth and Gill was back on the seat of his pants.
This was not a one-sided affair such as Sergio Garcia vs Ted Cheeseman but Tinoco gaining in confidence with every passing round. Gill just didn’t look himself: we’ve seen Dave Coldwell’s prospect look far more assured than on Friday night. He did, in fairness, return in the seventh with a far more competent round as he scrambled for a foothold in a contest that was slipping through his fingers like sand in an hourglass.
Tijuana’s tactician respond in the only way he knew how with relentless pressure to assert his dominance. More body shots flooded Gill was immeasurable discomfort and, after being dropped in the eighth, Dave Coldwell opted to withdraw his charge. An understandable decision given the underwhelming nature of Gill’s performance: after the fight it emerged the former champion had suspected food poisoning but, whatever the reasoning, he just couldn’t find a rhythm.
A first for loss for Jordan Gill but in nowhere near as career-detrimental fashion as the likes of Ted Cheeseman; he’ll be back, he’s already proven his quality at this level, but he’ll have to take lessons from this fight if he is to push on.
The co-main event featured local sensation Leigh Wood finally getting the chance to put on big performance under the bright lights of his home city. The Commonwealth champion was defending his belt against, former holder, Ryan Doyle and this was, without a doubt, the stiffest challenge of his career since losing to Gavin McDonnell in 2014. A sixth round knockout, that reversal was the sole loss on Wood’s career whilst Doyle was looking to respond immediately from a seventh round TKO loss to Jordan Gill.
A contest that started cagily saw neither fighter willing to commit but Wood was showing more ringcraft as he settled on the backfoot, forcing to Doyle to try and close the distance – something he struggled to do. The defending champion looked to be at ease with the situation he found himself in whereas there was, perhaps, a sign of nerves from his challenger.
Wood found his feet early on and hit his stride after the tentative first round but gradually increased his application of pressure, tightening his grip on the contest. Confidence was never an issue for the local man who began to unfurl hook after hook to push his challenger up against the ropes and, when there, let his hands go with crisp accuracy and timing.
Doyle offered little to threaten his opponent and appeared to be a sitting duck, just waiting to drop from a sustained attack and the cork popped in the tenth round. Wood opened up the defence of his opponent through planted body shots before as clean a punch as you will ever see put the contest beyond all doubt. A ferocious counter left-hook twisted the head of Doyle, figuratively and literally, and that was that. Punch perfect from Ryan Doyle.
Big time boxing has been away from Nottingham for a little while but, if last night is anything to go by, it’ll be back very, very soon.