Jordan Gill: I have to beat Zelfa Barrett to leapfrog him

Jordan Gill faces Zelfa Barrett live on DAZN from Manchester, England

Jordan Gill takes on former world title challenger Zelfa Barrett on Saturday, April 13 at AO Arena in Manchester, England. The pair squares off in the all-British main event at super featherweight. The bout is scheduled for 12 rounds.

Gill targets his first world title shot. Zelfa is looking for his second opportunity to try to become champion. At the at the kickoff press conference the fighters previewed their bout and went face to face.

29-year-old Jordan Gill (28-2-1, 9 KOs) is coming off the win by TKO in the seventh round against former title challenger Michael Conlan last December. With the victory, the Huntingdon, England native returned to winning ways, after he was stopped by Kiko Martinez in October 2022.

“This is a fight that as soon as you [Eddie Hearn] mentioned it, we said yes,” Jordan Gill said. “It’s just a fight, and one that I’m excited for, off the back of the Conlan fight it’s more interesting and we’ve not had a bad reaction for this fight, everyone is excited for it, and so am I.”

“To be the best you have to beat the best. So, to have a claim to a world title you have to go through these fights. Zelfa is a very good fighter, he wants a world title shot and he’s probably at the front of the queue, so I have to beat him to leapfrog him. That’s why we’re here and we said yes to the fight, so I am looking forward to it.”

Jordan Gill vs Zelfa Barrett
Jordan Gill, Eddie Hearn and Zelfa Barrett | Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

“I think the team I have is the best I’ve worked with, the way they analyze everything, it makes it very simple. All you want as a fighter is a clear game plan, that’s what I’ve got. This fight is very different from the Conlan fight, I knew exactly what I had to do there and I will here too, but Zelfa has a lot of strings to his bow, he’s a very versatile fighter, moves really well, punches hard, has fast hands, he can stand and sling it out as well, so I am going to have to come out very different than I did against Conlan, but I am excited for the challenge and to be able to show my versatility as well.”

“I’m like a half-Indian Golovkin! I think you will see the best of me now. I’m coming into my prime, I feel good, I’m with the right team, I’m training hard, and I feel comfortable and strong at 130lbs. There is so much emphasis on being the bigger guy in the ring, and fighters boil themselves down to make weights that they shouldn’t. There’s a difference between making a weight and performing at it. For the last two, three, maybe even four years, I just couldn’t perform at featherweight, it’s frustrating because I know I would be much further along in my career if I’d moved up sooner but you are always chasing that carrot that’s being dangled in front of you, like, ‘win this one and you’ll get a world title’. But you are better off just being smaller but stronger.”

“I’m happy, I’m enjoying my training, I’ve found the love for boxing again, I’ve got a lot of things going on that I’m really excited about, and this fight is just one of them so let the good times roll.”

Zelfa Barrett: If I can get a win over Jordan Gill, the world is mine

Zelfa Barrett
Zelfa Barrett | Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Zelfa Barrett (30-2, 16 KOs) won his previous bout last November by decision against Costin Ion. Last April, the 30-year-old similarly defeated Jason Sanchez. The Manchester native challenged Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the IBF super featherweight belt in November 2022, but suffered the defeat via ninth-round TKO.

“This is the fight you [Eddie Hearn] promised, and you have delivered,” Zelfa Barrett said. “I’ve always wanted to box at the Arena, watching and being in the changing rooms with Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg, I’d always thought one day I’ll be there winning a world title, but this fight is like a world title because I know how good Jordan is. He’s well-schooled, got a good team around him, so it’s given me the grit in my teeth to perform.”

“We’re similar in styles and that’s why I wanted to spar him back in the day because we’re similar, it’s funny how the tables turn and we’re now fighting each other, it’s an exciting fight and tickets are flying out, all my people will be there.”

“This is what I have been waiting for and I’ll surprise you with how many tickets I sell because Manchester has been screaming for a fighter and I’m top of the tree. If I can get a win over Jordan, the world is mine and you can deliver me anything that you can, and I believe I will do.”

Jordan Gill vs Zelfa Barrett faceoff
Jordan Gill and Zelfa Barrett go face to face | Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

In the co-feature to Gill vs Barrett, the unified IBF and WBO super bantamweight champion Ellie Scotney defends her titles against Segolene Lefebvre. Also on the card, Cameron Vuong and Jordan Flynn clash at lightweight.

Plus, Rhiannon Dixon and Karen Elizabeth Carabajal battle it out for the vacant WBO lightweight belt. In addition, Michael Gomez Jnr defends his British super featherweight title against Kane Baker.

Parviz Iskenderov
Parviz Iskenderov is a former Muay Thai fighter, sports manager and editor at FIGHTMAG.

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