By: Ste Rowen
Attempting to bring big time boxing to Peterborough, Jordan ‘The Thrill’ Gill takes on Emmanuel ‘Veneno’ Dominguez for the vacant WBA ‘International’ featherweight title but more importantly, a place in the WBA’s top ten rankings.
Fighting in his home town for the first time since 2014 Gill, trained and managed by Dave Coldwell and with a professional record standing at 22-0 (6KOs), was very aware of the challenge he faces on Saturday night at the East of England Arena as he spoke at the final press conference,
Photo Credit: Sky Sports Boxing Twitter Account
‘‘This is a really big step up on the ladder for me. To be headlining in my hometown is a dream come true…We worked very hard to get here. It’s been a long, long road. I’ve had the support locally, everyone’s coming out to watch it and I’m looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere. The crowd’s gonna lift me.’’
Gill, fighting at featherweight, claimed the Commonwealth belt in his last fight against Ryan Doyle, but he seemed clear on where he’s setting his path for the future,
‘‘I beat Doyle and it made a lot of people stand up and take notice. A lot of people expected me to get beat. This is another step forward to get a top WBA ranking but my sites are firmly set on Dominguez.’’
His opponent, Emmanuel Dominguez is no stranger to a challenge or a loss.
‘Veneno’, or Poison’s, record stands at 24-7-2 (16KOs) in bouts across Central America however, Emmanuel has struggled for a stand-out win in his 33 pro-fights. The last time he defeated a boxer with less than 10 defeats was in 2016 when he scored a unanimous decision victory over 16-3-2, Enrique Angeles Jr. But Dominguez seemed in confident mood when he spoke during the week,
‘‘This is the first time I’ve set foot on British soil…Every fight that I’ve had in Mexico has been against a real tough opponent and I think that, that’s very important that I’ve got that experience and hunger.
We’re here to try and create a surprise. I’m sure I can win on Saturday night…Jordan represents a step up in class for me, something I’m really looking forward to.’’
Also on Saturday’s Peterborough card will be the British Isles cruiserweight showdown between the unbeaten London native, Richard Riakporhe and Northern Ireland’s, Tommy McCarthy.
McCarthy, 13-1 (6KOs), who’s sole defeat came at the hands of former British champion Matty Askin in 2016, wasn’t shy in outlining how much he’s been looking forward to a big fight,
‘‘I’ve been waiting for the past two years to be on this stage. My career got off to a very good start and then it was very stop-start and I’m finally back where I belong…I’ve been looking world class in the gym. I feel world class and I’m excited.
Lawrence (Okolie) has cleaned up domestically but he wasn’t even a pro when I was leading the pack of the cruiserweights so, a win here puts me back in contention with a fight against Lawrence and beyond.’’
But Tommy will be up against arguably his toughest challenge since losing to Askin over two years ago, when he steps in with this weekend’s opponent.
Riakporhe, 8-0 (7KOs), who’s managed by Dillian Whyte, has looked the part since turning pro and after forcing an 8-0-1, Sam Hyde to throw in the towel by the 8th in his last fight, Richard is well aware of how important this stage of his career is,
‘‘I’ve fought on high-profile undercards, but this is a dream come true…(The Hyde fight) set me up and showed me what it’s like to fight undefeated fighters. Fighters that will do anything to win.
I see myself getting the win, maybe by knockout…We’re gonna leave the ring with our hand raised, by any means necessary.’’
Saturday’s action will be available on both DAZN USA and Sky Sports.
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