Jordan Gill ‘super-chilled’ ahead of ‘must-win’ fight against Zelfa Barrett

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

Jordan Gill looks to secure his first world title shot when he faces Zelfa Barrett on Saturday, April 13 at AO Arena in Manchester, England. The native of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire goes up against the hometown favorite in the all-British bout at super featherweight. The contest is scheduled for 12 rounds.

29-year-old Jordan Gill (28-2-1, 9 KOs) is coming off the win via stoppage against former title challenger Michael Conlan last December in Belfast. The former European champion is confident in his victory on the rival territory and targets his second win in a row.

“It’s the biggest fight of my career so far, I am super-chilled, we’re having a good time,” Jordan Gill said at the pre-fight press conference. “We had a good time in Belfast, we’re having a good time in Manchester, it’s a good city. I’m just looking forward to fighting and rolling the dice again. I went to Belfast to fight Conlan, I’m coming to Manchester to fight Zelfa, I’m just enjoying myself and long may it continue.”

“I feel very calm, everything in my life is good now. I’ve got a good team behind me, I feel happy, I feel settled, 130 is making me live a normal life. I don’t have to weigh everything I’m eating in and out of camp, it’s fantastic. I’m in a good place and I’m ready to fight, it’s going to be a great fight.”

“I’m a non-puncher. I think it’s going to be a great fight. It depends, there’s a lot of variables, Zelfa is versatile, he does a lot of things well, has lots of strings to his bow. He’s a good mover, he can punch, he’s good on the counter, he’s very fast, so I can’t see a way this fight isn’t going to be exciting. As a boxing fan and a boxer myself, that just makes me excited for it. There’s going to be a bit of everything in this fight, moments where it’s cagey, moments where we’re boxing, moments when he’s pressuring, when I’m pressuring, so it’s exciting, there will be blood and guts and I’m here for it.”

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

“Imagine how much power I’d have if we got Barry to dress up as Spider Man?! I think we missed a trick there! I feel like I’m punching hard, I’m strong at the weight, I’m developing. I turned pro so young; I had my debut 7 days after my 18th birthday. I feel like I’m a late developer, and now you are seeing the best of me, the true Jordan Gill. I’m not restricted at the weight, I feel solid, so I am punching hard.”

“For sure it’s must-win. If either of us want to fight for a World title, we’ve got to win this fight. That’s why it’s so exciting because there’s a lot on the line. It’s a fight everyone has been looking forward to, two Brits that are above British and European level, it makes it exciting, there’s a lot on the line for us both. When the fight was put to me, I said yes straight away. Not because I dislike Zelfa, I like him, he’s a good guy and I have respect for him and his team, but when we get in the ring on Saturday, the person you are fighting isn’t a person, they are just a target, and you have to go for that target.”

Zelfa Barrett: Defeat doesn’t cross my mind

Former world title challenger Zelfa Barrett (30-2, 16 KOs) is riding a two-fight winning streak. Last year, the 30-year-old defeated Costin Ion and Jason Sanchez by decision. In November 2022, the Manchester native was stopped by Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov in the ninth round of their fight for the IBF belt.

“It’s a dream come true, thank you to yourself and the team,” Zelfa Barrett. “I’ve been running past the Manchester Arena, was there when Anthony Crolla boxed Darleys Perez twice, Jorge Linares, when Scott Quigg beat Kiki Martinez, watched Ricky Hatton there. So, it’s a nice achievement to headline there myself.”

Zelfa Barrett at the press conference
Zelfa Barrett at the press conference | Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

“Jordan is a good fighter and he’s got a good team around him, but I believe I’m better than him in every way, shape, and form. He said he’s going knock me out, crazy, but we’ll see.”

“I’m expecting a great fight. He’s a good fighter and he’s got a new team around him, some tricks up his sleeve. I can just see what he comes out and brings, and I will adapt from that.”

“My left hook is crazy but we’re not relying on that. It’s hard work and dedication, but I’ve got the power to destroy him. He’s a good fighter, I’m not going to take that away from him, he’s going to be calculated, but there’s one winner and that’s me.”

“Defeat doesn’t cross my mind. I just think about what I am going to eat after the fight when I’ve won.”

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

In the co-feature on the card, English IBF super bantamweight champion Ellie Scotney (8-0) goes up against France’s WBO titleholder Segolene Lefebvre (18-0, 1 KO). The pair squares off in the world championship unification.

Among Gill vs Barrett undercard bouts, Rhiannon Dixon (9-0, 1 KO) of England meets Karen Elizabeth Carabajal (21-1, 3 KOs) of Argentina for the vacant WBO lightweight title. Plus, Manchester’s Michael Gomez Jnr (20-1, 5 KOs) defends his British super featherweight strap against Kane Baker (19-10-2, 1 KO) of Birmingham.

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

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