Valiant kickboxer James Gillen has vowed:
“ I’ll be back”
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
“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 Prokick.com for further details.
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
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