Nottingham’s Dean Gillen travelled to London on April 30th with the intention of upsetting unbeaten prospect Barney Joe Jones at the Copper Box Arena in Hackney, and he did just that, triumphing 39-37 on points.
The ‘Fighting Fireman’ left the capital with another a win on his record, moving up 3-2 whilst the popular home fighter from Enfield dropped down to 1-1 on the Queensberry Promotions event, televised live on BoxNation TV.
The 33-year-old, almost 10 years his opponent’s senior, commented on the points win, “The game plan was just to stick to my strengths, use my fitness, get on the front foot and apply pressure, grind him down and get my shots off.
“I dictated the centre of the ring and got him to work, and I enjoyed it. It was a bit of a war at times so I didn’t have it easy. I took his best shots and still smiled at him, and I think it broke his heart.”
Jones, a 25-year-old super-middleweight from North-East London, made the transition to the pro ranks seamlessly with a shutout points win over Lewis van Poetsch at the Prince Regent Hotel in Chigwell in February, after previously reaching four fights unbeaten on the popular unlicensed circuit in Essex.
The 6ft 1” victor described the action, “I think he took the first round because he was sharper, but then he seemed to fade towards the end because he was throwing everything behind his shots.
“I think because he saw that I’d been stopped in my last two fights that he thought he could get me out of there but I wanted to show everyone that I have got a chin and plenty of heart.
“I’ve developed more from those losses, plus I did not want to go into a deficit on my record, I’ve got too much pride for that.”
Officiating the four three-minute round contest was Marcus McDonnell, Gillen respectfully said of the referee in charge, “I had a moan in the one of the rounds because of the constant holding but I wanted to thank him afterwards because he did a cracking job.”
Gillen, a long-serving member of the Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service, won his first two bouts on points in his home county before hitting the road twice to face Indian boxing sensation, Vijender Singh in Dublin last November, and then February this year saw a failed attempt at claiming the vacant British Challenge super-middleweight belt against Droylsden’s undefeated prospect, Craig Bunn.
Deano, trained by Andrew Lowe, decided to turn pro with Carl Greaves Promotions last year after winning gold in the 2013 World Police and Fire Games.
“This will Probably give my manager Carl Greaves a bit of a headache now,” laughed ‘Deano’. “I’ve said that whoever wants to fight me then I’ll take it and I don’t care how many levels they are above.
“Against Singh and Bunn, I didn’t have the belief to win but I have that now, and strangely I actually prefer fighting away from home as they are bigger shows, and in every fight I’m the underdog because I’m lacking experience against anyone I go up against. I’m not even in double figures yet and that’s in all competitions.”
The Fighting Fireman is ready to travel again whenever the phone rings and is planning on getting straight be back in the ring, he confirmed, “I came out unscathed and I’ll be back in the gym with Andrew [Lowe] on Wednesday.
“If I get a call for two or four weeks time, whatever, I’ll jump at it. I have to stay ready rather than get ready; at 34-years-old that’s the way it is!”
He concluded, “For me, it’s all about the experiences and another big box I want to tick is to fight at the York Hall.”
Gillen’s fifth pro bout took place on the Queensberry Promotions show that unfortunately saw both headliners in WBO World middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders, followed by Ovill McKenzie withdraw with injuries from their respective title fights.
Topping the bill instead, heavyweight prospect Hughie Fury (20-0) outpointed Fred Kassi (18-5-1) to claim his first professional title in the form of the vacant WBO Intercontinental heavyweight championship.
A nasty gash on Fury’s left eye caused by an accidental clash of heads in the sixth round, eventually forced the referee to end the title contest in the eighth round after taking a close look at the injury.
Unable to continue, it went to the judges’ score cards. All three ruled in Fury’s favour – 69-66, 70-64, 69-65 – and the Mancunian prospect moved up to a landmark 20-0.
Ryan Walsh (21-1-4) emphatically defended his British featherweight title against Belfast’s James Tennyson (16-2), decking his opponent with two solid body shots in the fifth round before the referee waved off the contest at 2 minutes 34 seconds, even though he bravely beat the count.
Belfast hero Jamie Conlan (16-0) claimed the Commonwealth super-flyweight title from South Shields’ Anthony Nelson (11-1) in what will unarguably go down as a fight of the year contender.
The all-action Irishman finally won the gripping tear-up in the eighth round after putting the fearless Nelson down for the final time.
Cromer’s British and Commonwealth super-featherweight champion Liam Walsh (20-0) defended his titles with an eighth-round stoppage win over Troy James (18-3-1) to retain both his crowns.
James’ corner threw in the towel at 1 minute and 22 seconds into the eighth round to seal a memorable night for the Walsh clan.
There were also wins for Vijender Singh (5-0), Lewis Pettitt (19-2), Joe Pigford (10-0), Anthony Yarde (6-0), Boy Jones (8-0-1), DP Carr (4-0), and exciting debutants – Sanjeev Sahota (1-0) and Tony Bange (1-0).
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