We analyse the credentials and statistics of two-time world title contender Michael Conlan and Jordan Gill as the pair get set to top the bill in Northern Ireland this weekend in an exciting super-featherweight showdown.
Michael Conlan was minutes away from winning a world title when he faced Leigh Wood, in 2022.
A second attempt at capturing a world title ended disastrously, as the former Olympian was stopped by Luis Alberto Lopez, earlier this year.
Now, at a new weight, working with a different trainer and promoter, Conlan (1/8) hopes to kick start his journey towards a third championship crack by making a statement against Jordan Gill () at the Odessey Arena, Belfast this weekend.
Gill still harbours world title aspirations of his own and won’t be heading to Northern Ireland to make up the numbers.
Let’s have a look at the tale of the tape…
|18-2 (9 KOs)
|27-2-1 (8 KOs)
|Lost - (TKO) v Luis Alberto Lopez (May 2023)
|Lost - (TKO) v Kiko Martinez (October 2023)
Michael Conlan is one of the most successful amateur boxers that the island of Ireland has produced.
In the unpaid ranks he won gold medals at the European and World championships, and was ranked as the best bantamweight in the world by AIBA, amateur boxing’s governing body.
The Belfast fighter picked up a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympics and was among the favourites to win gold at the Rio Games, in 2016. However, the Irishman found himself on the wrong end of a controversial decision against Vladimir Nikitin, at the quarter-final stage.
The 32-year-old has not been able to scale the same heights as a professional.
Upon turning pro, Conlan signed a promotional pact with Bob Arum’s Top Rank, and was trained by Manny Robles. The relationship with his coach lasted for five fights, when they parted company amicably to allow Conlan to be closer to his young family.
The former Olympian opted to link up with Adam Booth. Together the pair had some degree of success as Conlan gained revenge over Nikitin, defeated Miguel Mariaga and, former IBF super-bantamweight world champion, TJ Doheny.
Despite some credible wins, a world title has eluded Conlan. The Belfast man was three minutes away from glory as he challenged Leigh Wood for the WBA ‘Regular’ title, in 2022. Conlan had scored a heavy knockdown in the opening round and had been in control for large portions of the bout.
Conlan simply had to hear the final bell to be crowned world champion, but in the last frame, disaster struck as the champion scored the knockout he needed. The dramatic conclusion secured the battle’s status as of the best fights of the year.
Fourteen-months later, he received a second crack at becoming a world champion - in the opposite corner was awkward, hard-hitting, IBF ruler Luis Alberto Lopez.
From the opening bell, Conlan chose to stand and trade with the dangerous puncher. That tactic was ultimately his undoing, as Adam Booth threw in the towel during the fifth round, following a heavy knockdown.
Subsequently, Conlan parted company with Booth and Top Rank.
Now, working with Pedro Diaz and Matchroom, the Irishman hopes to secure a third tilt at a world title. If his aspirations are to become a reality, he will need to defeat Gill handily.
|Stays in range too long
|Takes unnecessary risks
|Keeps his lead hand low
|Reflexes slow as fight progresses
In May of 2019, Jodan Gill’s stock was at its highest. After wins over Ryan Doyle, David Berna and Emmanuel Dominguez, some observers saw the boxer-puncher as a world champion in waiting.
Those beliefs were short-lived, as Gill was stopped inside eight rounds by Mario Enrique Tinoco, having been sent to the canvas on three occasions.
There were mitigating circumstances for the manner of the defeat, ‘The Thrill’ had been struggling with illness ahead of the bout, but chose not to pull out.
To contextualise how highly thought of Gill was at one stage, Xu Can had the choice to face the Cambridgeshire fighter or Leigh Wood, at Fight Camp and felt ‘Leigh-thal’ was the easier option of the two.
The 29-year-old rebuilt after the Tinoco loss and went on to capture the European featherweight title, against Karim Guerfi. The clash was a thriller as Gill was dropped and injured but came back to score a stunning knockout.
However, his title reign was brief as he lost the title to Kiko Martinez in his first defence. Gill was dropped on four occasions before David Coldwell threw in the towel to stop the fight, in the fourth round.
Since then, Gill has parted company with Coldwell and moved back home to Chatteris.
Inactive for over a year and without his long-time trainer, Gill’s hopes of becoming a world champion may seem farfetched, but he will take inspiration from the meteoric rise of his close friend, Leigh Wood.
Can Gill be the latest British boxer to secure a fairy tale moment? Only time will tell.
|Struggles under pressure
|Open to uppercuts
Full Fight Markets
All odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.