Jordan Gill felt he might never fight again after a draining battle with thyroid disease threatened to derail his promising career.
The former Commonwealth featherweight champion now has a second chance at boxing when he meets Reece Bellotti in an intriguing crossroads battle at Matchroom’s Fight Camp on Saturday (August 1).
Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) was one of the most promising talents in Britain before an upset loss against Mexican Mario Enrique Tinoco (LRTD8) in May 2019. The Chatteris stylist looked drained and out of sorts and it was the start of testing times inside and outside of the ropes.
He returned with a win over Yesner Talavera in Florence four months later, but was forced to withdraw from a scheduled fight in December as his health deteriorated.
“A lot of people don’t realise how serious the health issues I had were,” said Gill. “I thought I’d never box again. I thought I’d never be the same again. It turned my boxing life and my personal life upside down. I was struggling with my training, my heart rate was going through the roof. I was sweating at night, I was constantly hungry and I had no energy.
“Something had to change so I got a blood test and I was diagnosed. At first I was misdiagnosed so I went through all of the private testing and paid a lot of money for private doctors to give me the correct diagnosis. I’m glad to be putting behind me because it was a big worry at the time. I thought my life in boxing was over but thankfully we’ve got the all clear and we’re on the mend. I’m back feeling good, back to where I should be.
“They were constantly testing my bloods, making sure that my Thyroid Gland was working the way it should be. It flared right up. I was losing weight constantly, but being out of shape and losing muscle. I was eating no end but not putting any weight on. Then it went under-active and I wasn’t eating at all but putting loads and loads of weight on – for a boxer that’s quite daunting.
“I thought I was going to have to find something else. I thought I was going to have to find another path in life. For someone that puts 100% into one thing, I put all my eggs in one basket with boxing, it’s a scary thing. That’s the way I live my life. If I attack something, I’m attacking it with 100% and that’s what I do with boxing. To have it possibly being taken away from you is a massive thing.
“I think even without the thyroid issues I’ve not been in a competitive fight for a long time, last time I boxed in Italy in a six-rounder in September. It’s been a long time out of the ring and people will expect me to be a bit cautious or not be firing on all cylinders. I’ve got no excuses though, I’ve prepared in the best way possible. I’ve been diligent with my training and I’ve left no stone unturned. I’ve got no excuses and the better man will win on the night.”
Gill vs Bellotti will be televised live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US this Saturday.
Main image: Matchroom.