Nottingham’s ‘Fighting Fireman’ Dean Gillen (2-1) is set to clash with unbeaten Craig Bunn (7-0-1) for the British Challenge super-middleweight belt tonight in Manchester.
The Hilton Manchester Deansgate – a four-star, 47-story hotel next to the Great Northern shopping centre – will play host to the contest on the eighth weekend of the year.
Bunn, 29-years-old, gets the home advantage over Nottingham’s Gillen, 33-years-old, hitting the road for the second time in his nine-month long pro career.
Here’s what the 6ft 1” fighter had to say when he sat down exclusively with Boxing News & Views:
What do you know of your opponent, Craig Bunn?
“I know he’s got a good amateur background and obviously unbeaten as a pro. I’ve seen a couple of his fights and he looks good and fast. I can see Craig swelling up a lot in weight for this fight.”
How have you prepared for this fight?
“I feel stronger at the weight and I made it comfortably. When I first found out it was at super-middleweight, I was quite happy because I didn’t have to lose a lot. I was carrying more weight anyway and more muscle so I feel strong.
I’ve been doing the rounds in sparring and still got plenty of energy left at the end. I’ve been sparring with Darryl Baptist, Cameron Stevenson and a few big amateur guys who are light-heavy’s, who are fast and sharp.”
“I fancy this one, definitely got it in me to beat him. I’ve been PB-ing all my runs, even though I’m heavier, I beat all my times. I’m fit and strong and I feel confident. I’m more suited to doing more rounds. When I get my second wind is when I come alive.”
What improvements or differences could we see from you in this fight?”
“A lot more composed. Against Vijender [Singh], I held back. I won’t be backing up in this fight, I’ll be staying tight, sticking my stiff jab out. I just need to believe in it. My coach, Andrew Lowe has been working on all the technical side with me and he’s really helping me to come on lots, he really knows his stuff.”
What would winning this belt mean to you?
“Any kind of belt is an achievement coming into the pro’s so late. It would mean the world to me but what I really want is an Area title, its more established and accomplished. If I win, it’s great and I’ll be happy; if I don’t win, then it’s all good experience for me.”
Touching on legacy, Deano mentioned:
“I’m not in it for the money. As a parent, you want your kids to be happy and chase their dreams, and if you’re too scared to do it yourself then how can you tell others to do it. I want to inspire others. Money comes and goes but a title is forever and that means more to me.”
Without looking past this fight, what’s next for you?
“I have been offered a fight in March at York Hall but want to get through this one first. My manager, Carl Greaves is doing really well for me with getting me fights but writing the columns that I do for my local news and various websites is getting my name out there in the media, which all helps. I love boxing and could talk about it all day!”
(Top image sent in by Tim Rickson and photo credit: Matthew Page, Stockhill Firestation, Stockhill Lane, Basford, NG6 0LG).
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