India’s middleweight boxing dynamoVijender Singh (2-0) defeated a preiovusly undfeated Dean Gillen (2-1) this past Saturday 7th just gone, with Gillen having very high praise for the victor.
Police vs Fire Brigade
The middleweight match was billed as the ‘Battle of Badges’ with Singh, 30-years-old, a Deputy Superintendent of Police in his native Haryana and Gillen, 33-years-old, a long-serving member of the Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service.
Gillen began by taking the fight to the former Olympian using his stiff jab to his advantage. However, on the two-minute mark, a swift overhand right from the Bihwani boxer knocked the Nottingham man to the canvas.
The 33-year-old immediately returned to his feet but there was another knockdown 30 seconds later, bizarrely this time it wasn’t Gillen or Singh but the referee, David John Irving tripping on the foot of Singh!
Under duress, ‘Deano’, known as the ‘Fighting Fireman’, rolled and moved continually as he was backed up by the Indian megastar trained by Lee Beard in his Manchester gym.
With only 20 seconds remaining in the opening round, another big right hand visibly hurt Gillen and a following flurry of punches caused another knockdown, this time the 33-year-old firefighter couldn’t beat the referee’s count.
The 30-year-old signed to Frank Warren impressed as he doubled his win tally and took the perfect record away from his Carl Greaves managed counterpart.
Pedigree and Bouncing Back
Post-fight Gillen said:
“I had a very small chance of winning and I did land a few decent jabs on him. My first knockdown was a slip, he just helped me on my way, it was really slippery in there. The left hook to the ribs was the finisher. It wasn’t even a big shot, it was just the accuracy. If I could have got up then I would have. He did hit hard but I had a clear head and was just trying to roll and slip. When I walked back to the dressing room, I was fine.”
The Beijing 2008 bronze medallist, also the owner of three Commonwealth Games medals, displayed a good variety of punches and power in his second pro fight, clearly adapting to the pro game remarkably quickly and seamlessly after such a lengthy and highly-decorated amateur career.
‘Deano’ went on to say:
“I’ve had less fights than he’s had competitions! It takes a lot to get in there, he’s fast and he’s got that pedigree. He’s a skilful, silky boxer and I’d like him to do well because it’ll be good for India. He’s a nice guy and I really like him.”
A national treasure back in India, an estimated audience of 15-20 million viewers tuned in to watch the fight live.
After experiencing his first fight away from home, the Firefighter from Arnold plans to continue life as the travelling opponent, he concluded by saying:
“It was good experience for me. Not having the support of the crowd and the chants there like I normally have affected me a little bit, it’s something I’ve got to learn from. I’ll have a couple of months off and Christmas with the family, but I’ll be back out in January.”
(Image courtesy of Tim Rickson)
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