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Valiant kickboxer James Gillen has vowed:
“ I’ll be back”

All friends in love and warValiant Irish kickboxer James Gillen has vowed “I’ll be back” after a heroic but unsuccessful punt at the WKN European heavyweight title this weekend.
The Craigavon man faced east German man mountain Andy Schadenberg in Neubrandenburg last Saturday and was defeated at the end of the first round. Though the victory looked convinced for the hugely experienced German – a former two time World Amateur champion – it was a lapse in concentration rather than any lack of ability that beat the Northern Irishman.
He had Schadenberg on the canvas in the opening seconds with a deadly low leg kick which some ringsiders, including the referee, thought that it was to the groin. It was only Schadenberg’s guile and experience that kept him in the match in the opening exchanges. But Gillen let his guard down in the final moments of the opening round and let the German in for a snatch and grab victory.
“I’m gutted,” said Gillen. “I trained like I’ve never trained for this. My coach Billy Murray and I came up with a game plan on how to take Schadenberg. I’m convinced had I kept my concentration going I would have returned home with the title.
“But I know I can win it. I don’t fear Schadenberg or anyone else in Europe in this division. I’ll talk to my coach and we’ll work out what comes next. I want to let all my friends and supporters know that I’m ready for whatever comes next and I’ll be back to have another go.”
Murray was disappointed for his man but said he was sure there was another punt at the title within him,
“James trained like a professional for this title,” said Murray. “We had him in the gym every day putting in at least two hours of punishing preparation – on top of his road work. He has a full-time job outside of kickboxing and I salute his dedication and determination.
“When James first took up the sport at Prokick he was a massive 26 stone,” he said. “But over the last three years he has dropped down to a slimmer 19 stone just through his normal training at the gym. For the last eight weeks, I have put him through the mill to get him fight ready. He is a skilful big man. His pride is hurt just now, but he’s focused and he’ll be ready soon to face his next challenge.
Gillen a former double Irish champion took the Celtic Nations title from Scotland’s Gary McCleary in a second round knockout at the Hilton hotel in October last year. The heavy hitter Gillen had a total of six fights last year and won them all by knockout.
Gillen is the current instructor at Prokick’s Falls Leisure Centre club and will run a show there for other budding kickboxing enthusiasts at the end of March.
Check back here at for further details.

The entranceThe MCJames ready for actionAndy hits the deckJames down for the second time and this time outAndy Schadenberg European championWolfgang Geir (right) WKN representativeJames with the spoils of war

Special thanks to the organisers of the event we were well received and well looked after and it was nice to meet up with our WKN representatives Wolfgang and Lutz.
Hope to see you both again soon this time in Belfast
Judge Lutz Judges and officials at ringside Wolfgang and Billy

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