Jordan Gill was expected, frankly, to cruise tonight in Nottingham, matched against Mexico’s Enrique Tinoco in the NXTGEN main event, but things don’t always go as expected for prospects.
Gill (23-1, 7 KO) was dropped three times and stopped after eight rounds by Tinoco (18-5-4, 13 KO).
Gill went down in the third round from a body shot, again in the fifth from a body shot, and again just before the bell to end the eighth from a body shot. He just could not deal with the body shots from Tinoco, and he offered an explanation after the fight.
“I don’t want to make any excuses, but I’m going to. I’ve been on the toilet all afternoon. I think I’ve got food poisoning,” Gill said. “That wasn’t me in there. I was terrible. I couldn’t do anything in there. Every time he touched me it felt like I was gonna, you know, explode. But today was his day. Congratulations to him. I’m gonna come back another day, and next time eat food I make with me own hands.”
Asked if he would pull out of the fight if given a second chance to do so, Gill admitted he would.
“Yeah, but if someone asks me if I’m alright I’m gonna say yes. He wanted a Mexican war, I gave him a Mexican war — but I didn’t want to. Even with what I’ve got, I thought I’d be able to box and move and keep it out of trouble. But it wasn’t me in there.”
Gill is confident that if he gets a second shot at Tinoco, things will go better for him.
“This guy wouldn’t live with me on my best day. I don’t wanna stand here and say that, because he won the fight. He brought his A-game, but this wasn’t Jordan Gill in here tonight. I’m very disappointed because I’m knocked back a few steps.”
I know nobody likes to hear excuses out of fighters after a fight, but this story really holds up if you watched Gill in there. He literally could not handle Tinoco’s body shots, and with respect to Tinoco, it’s not like these were old Miguel Cotto left hooks to the body or anything.
Trainer Dave Coldwell explained his decision to pull Gill after eight.
“Jordan’s a tough kid, Jordan can box and he can fight, but there was nothing to him. He looked like a hollow Jordan Gill tonight,” Coldwell said. “I gave him every chance, but there’s no point in sending him out to go out and get beat up. He’s a 24-year-old kid. Believe it or not, he’s gonna learn from tonight. He had no angles tonight, he had nothing that I’m used to seeing. We’ll come back and regroup, and I said to Eddie, ‘Please, can we get it again?’ He’s gonna learn. He’s 24 years old. He’s a baby.”
As for that rematch, promoter Eddie Hearn said he would be willing to book it, and gave his congratulations to the upset winner.
“You could see he wasn’t 100 percent, but I thought Tinoco was excellent,” Hearn said. “He’s a tough competitor. These are the kind of fights that you want. If (Gill) gets in the ring and he can’t win the fight, he don’t win the fight. It goes down on the record. He wasn’t himself tonight and he paid the price. It was a big loss on his career tonight. Now we’ll see what he’s made of.”
Tinoco said little through his translator, but said he’d be willing to come back to the UK and fight again. It’s a huge win for Enrique Tinoco, who was an enormous underdog.
For the record, Bad Left Hook had it 77-72 for Tinoco at the time of stoppage.
Leigh Wood KO-10 Ryan Doyle
Leigh Wood didn’t go on last, but he was the hometown fighter and responsible for much of the draw today in Nottingham, and he repaid the support with a terrific performance in a successful defense of his Commonwealth title against Ryan Doyle.
Wood (22-1, 12 KO) knocked Doyle (17-4-1, 9 KO) in the 10th round, having won every round on our card before that. He was sharp and in control throughout, with Doyle never having any notable success.
“Best night so far in my boxing career,” Wood said, before wishing a happy birthday to his daughter. “I had to box smart. When I was warming up, I felt a little bit flat, but the crowd picked me up. Ryan Doyle is a tough, tough kid, but he wasn’t beating me tonight no matter what.”
If you’re hoping or expecting to see Wood face Gill at some point, you can forget that. As much as it might make boxing sense if Gill gets back on track, the two are best friends and roommates, and it’s just not going to happen.
Dalton Smith PTS-4 Luka Leskovic
Pro debut for Smith, a 22-year-old who figures to settle in at 140 early on. He came out aggressive, and Leskovic (5-28-2, 1 KO) is a fighter who knows how to take an aggressive young fighter a few rounds, and he did. Of his 28 losses, the Croatian has only been stopped twice. Score was 40-36. Smith had some nice footwork and settled down well in those final two rounds, showing his skills. Another guy to put on your radar.
Terri Harper TKO-6 Claudia Lopez
Lopez is a former super featherweight titleholder and title challenger at 118, 126, and 135. At 39, she’d only fought once since 2016 before this one. Honestly, during her ring walk she just didn’t look like she wanted to be here, but she gave it a shot. In the second, she got cut on a clash of heads, sending blood pouring down into her left eye from the hairline gash.
The 22-year-old Harper looks like at least a solid prospect at 135, has some skills. She got a stoppage in the sixth round when the referee stepped in, which was fair enough. Lopez (25-10, 6 KO) was outmatched here at this point in her career and taking a beating. Harper improves to 7-0 (4 KO) with the victory, and is quickly working her way up the lightweight rankings, which you can do in women’s boxing since there are so few fighters active at any given time.
Charles Frankham PTS-4 Tzemal Xouseinoglou
Score was 40-37. Frankham is a 19-year-old lightweight prospect, making his debut here against the 26-year-old Greek fighter Xouseinoglou, who falls to 1-4-1 (0 KO). Frankham had a solid amateur run and there was some hype behind this debut. His grandfather Johnny Frankham was a British light heavyweight champion in the 1970s. Grandson says his sights are set higher than just domestic titles. Frankham is tentatively set to return June 21 at York Hall.
Raymond Ford PTS-4 Aleksandrs Birkenbergs
This was Ford’s second pro fight, and I’ve seen them both. There’s real boxing skill to his game, he’s quick, he puts punches together nicely, he has talent. But his power is already a question, as he’s 2-0 and hasn’t stopped either gimme opponent. Score was 40-36 here.
Ford said he tried to get Birkenbergs (4-22, 3 KO) out, but the Latvian was tough. Birkenbergs has been stopped nine times. But a lack of power is not doom and gloom, either. The kid can box and he’s still maturing, just recently turned 20. That “man strength” may come in time, and he’s worth keeping your eye on. The New Jersey prospect said he enjoyed the experience fighting in the UK. I can say he looks natural in the ring, and he’s also comfortable on camera for interviews, which does matter some going forward.
Fabio Wardley TKO-3 Dennis Lewandowski
Wardley dropped Lewandowski twice in the third round, at which point Lewandowski indicated to the referee that he’d had enough. His face was smeared with nose blood, his ample midsection was being targeted, uppercuts were raining down on him. Listen, I’m not being mean, but Lewandowski (13-4, 6 KO) weighed in over 350 pounds for this fight, and he looked every ounce of it.
Wardley (7-0, 5 KO) is a 24-year-old prospect who is, as he admits and knows, learning on the job, and he’s been a sparring partner for Oleksandr Usyk both recently and in the past. Worth saying that Lewandowski had never been stopped before, even going a full 10 rounds with Tom Schwarz in 2016. Eddie Hearn mentioned Tom Little or Nick Webb as a possible next opponent for Wardley.
- Chris Billam-Smith RTD-3 Yassine Habachi (3:00)
- Stephen Smith PTS-6 Des Newton (60-54)
- Atif Shafiq PTS-6 Arturo Lopez (60-55)