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…
Fighting Fireman Dean Gillen Looking To Take An Undefeated Prospect’s ‘0’
BNAV talk exclusively to the ‘Fighting Fireman’ Dean Gillen ahead of Lennox Clarke test this weekend.
Nottingham’s Dean Gillen (3-2) takes on Birmingham’s Lennox Clarke (11-0) at the Walsall Town Hall this weekend.
The pair will top the bill on the bumper Black Country Boxing Promotions ‘Summer Scorcher’ event on Saturday July 9th.
The Fighting Fireman from Arnold has a winning record despite the majority of fights taken as an away fighter. His only losses have come from Indian’s boxing megastar Vijender Singh and unbeaten prospect Craig Bunn.
Clarke, a 24-year-old super-middleweight, bypassed the amateurs, turning pro after just seven white collar boxing fights and racing to 11 bouts unbeaten – four inside the distance – in just two-and-a-half years.
‘Deano’, trained by Andrew Lowe and managed by Carl Greaves, comes into the contest off the back of a 39-37 points win over unbeaten prospect Barney Joe Jones at the Copper Box Arena in April, live on BoxNation TV.
BNAV caught up with the 34-year-old ahead of his sixth professional contest this Saturday night.
The fight was originally scheduled for the British Challenge super-middleweight belt but we understand that’s been changed now?
“Carl [Greaves] rang the other night to say there’s been a problem with the fight, it’s still on but it’s been changed to six-rounds instead. There’s more fees to be paid for eight round fights and there’s sanctioning fees for the belts, and just behind the scenes politics basically, so it’s changed to a six-rounder with no belt now.”
Does the cancellation of the belt affect your mind-set or motivation at all?
“I’m not losing any motivation but it does dampen the occasion for me. Maybe not for Lennox because he wasn’t that bothered about the belt anyway. Every win for me will be a step towards an Area title challenge, especially by beating someone who’s 11-0.”
You’re only the second fighter with a winning record that Lennox Clarke has faced, suggesting that he’s not proven what level he’s at yet?
“I read an interview where he was kind of looking past me, he’s talking about English titles and doesn’t seem too bothered about this British Challenge belt so I do think he’s overlooking me, which sometimes that can be your downfall to not take an opponent seriously.
His opponents haven’t had good records, if I fought all of them then I’d have his record right now. I know my place in boxing, I know I’m just fit and tough and I’ll push people and occasionally I’ll cause an upset. Hopefully, I’ll gain enough experience to eventually fight for an Area title.”
Lennox Clarke at 11-0 definitely has the best record of any opponent you’ve faced so far, do you have to be mindful or respectful of that going into the fight?
“The respect thing, I believe I gave too much to [Vijender] Singh and [Craig] Bunn and I didn’t let myself do what I needed to do. I don’t look at records anymore, I play to my strengths now. He’s not fought anybody yet, if he fought my opponents then we’d know his level but he’s unknown at the moment, in that respect.
The lack of experience I’ve got is well documented. Every fight I gain experience, this has been the best camp yet, been sparring much tougher guys and learning from them. I’ve been stopping people in sparring so it’s just about having the belief to win, which I’ve got now. I don’t just believe I can win, I expect to win and am very disappointed if I don’t.”
What’s next for you after this fight?
“Billy Long is kind of pencilled in for September time. I’m happy for that fight but if he’s 4-0 and I beat someone who’s 11-0 then he might not fancy it, but then if I lose he might be well up for it, who knows?”
What’s the long-term plan in boxing?
“I do want to win something and take something home as a professional, something to put on the mantelpiece for my kids to be proud of.”
Although you’re the away fighter, will you have any support on the night?
“There’s a handful of people coming along to this one so that’ll be good for me.”
(Image sent in by Tim Rickson)