Get to Know... Dean Gillen

Published On Monday, May 11, 2015By Tim Rickson

Name: Dean Gillen

Nickname: Deano

Record: W0 L0 D0

Weight: Middleweight 11st 8lbs

Born: Nottingham

DOB: 24/06/82 From: Nottingham, through and through! 

Favourite current boxer? "Carl Froch"

Favourite all-time boxer? "Has to be Mohammed Ali, he was more than just a boxer."

Favourite all time fight? "Froch v Taylor, that fight had everything"

Why do you box? "I love boxing, it gives me focus and discipline, and it's the ultimate test of fitness!"

How did you start boxing? "I started out kickboxing at first but progressed onto boxing as I was more suited to it, and I wanted to compete in the World Police and FireFighter games in the boxing event."

Who influenced you at the start? "A good friend of mine and top personal trainer in Nottingham, Rikki Jeffery introduced me to kickboxing when I was a teenager."

What amateur clubs did you box for? "I trained at former IBO World champion, Jav Khaliq's Boxing Academy in Nottingham. His style is totally different to mine which is great as I work on my weaknesses but play to my strengths!"

What do you recall of your amateur career? "My amateur days were really only geared towards the World Police and Firefighter Games which I won Gold in when the games were held in Belfast in 2013. They are like the Olympic games for the emergency services across the world."

Why did you decide to turn pro? "I wanted to turn pro as I saw it as an achievement becoming a professional athlete. It was also something I could sit back in 30 years time and tell the grandchildren about."

How would you say your professional career has gone to date? "I have my debut in two weeks time on the 23rd May. So I am currently still unbeaten so it's going great! In all seriousness, I have signed with Carl Greaves Promotions and the training and preparations couldn't be going better. I am very fortunate to have a great team around me."

What are you capable of achieving in boxing? "I genuinely believe that on my day, I am capable of anything! In the meantime, I will take each fight as it comes and continue to work hard in the gym."

Who are the people who will help you achieve your goals? "Everyone at Carl Greaves Promotions and anyone who comes to support me will all play their part in helping me achieve my goals, especially my close family and friends. Also my sponsors, American Fire Apparel based in the USA and The Town House Gastro Pub in Arnold, Nottingham have backed me prior to having any success. Their belief in me, cements my own self belief."

What’s your training schedule? "I normally train two to three times a day for five days having two days rest during training camps, and train a similar frequency but less intense inbetween camps. I have always trained, I have to maintain a high level of fitness for my job as a Fire-Fighter. I just love training, health, fitness and nutrition and boxing requires all of these things."

Describe your style? "My star sign is "Cancer" which typifies me. I'm clever and cunning at times and can be defensive like a crab, boxing behind a stiff jab and avoid shots, but likewise, I have a hard shell and big right hand like a crab, and enjoy a good fight!"

What is your routine on fight night? "I'm quite laid back to be honest, I'll just chill out with friends and family at The Town House Gastro Pub enjoying a pre fight meal, then make my way to the venue where I'll chill out before having a thorough warm up and getting in the zone."

What ring walk music do you use? "My cousin is in a local Nottingham band called the Mithered. They are a quality up-and-coming band with indie style music, so I'll be using their chilled out sounds to make my entrance."

Do you like to take part or watch other sports? "I consider myself a "jack of all and master of none" when it comes to sport. I will try anything if I haven't already. I've competed in Triathlons, ultra marathons, 5k races, half marathons, football, and I have even been a semi-pro poker player."

Who is the best you have sparred with? "Without a doubt, Jav Khaliq and Fidel Castro Smith. Even though these guys are 'older' they know all the tricks, Jav's movement is effortless and Fidel is just a beast, they didn't call him 'slugger' for no reason! They are both still fit guys but obviously not as fit as in their prime, that aside I believe the are better now!"

What is the best venue you have boxed at, when? "When I won the World Police and Firefighter Games in 2013 it was held at the Iconic Ulster Hall in Belfast, this was an amazing experience."

What three All British boxing matches would you most like to see made? "Amir Khan v Kell Brook, David Haye v Tyson Fury, and myself v any top middleweight (that would mean I have been successful)."

If you could be at just one of the above fights which one would it be? "It would obviously be the fight that includes myself, other than that I would love to see Amir Khan v Kell Brook."

If you wasn't a boxer what would you like to be? "I am fortunate to have achieved my dream job as a Firefighter and also as a professional boxer but if I wasn't either of those I would love to train as a Chiropractor in order to aid people's health or I'd try my hand at politics as the country needs some genuine people from working class back grounds genuinely fighting our corner - excuse the boxing puns!"

Family life and background? "I was raised in a tough market town in Nottingham called Bulwell. I didn't get the best academic education as I attended a tough school. I did however, make some lifelong friends and gained some valuable 'life experience' from my school days. I am one of four, having two brothers and a sister, I was brought up well by two great parents that are really hard working, honest and genuine people."

Best friends in boxing? "I have some great friends in boxing including Jav Khaliq himself and everyone at his club, Carl Greaves, Andrew Lowe, Jamie Williams, Amir Unsworth just to name a few from my current team."

When you are not boxing what do you do to relax? "I have three daughters Lauren, Katie, and Chloe with my partner Emma and a dog called Diego who's a Chihuahua!! He doesn't quite fit the image but he's a cool dog! We go for regular walks around Bestwood Country Park in Nottingham as were so lucky to have it on our door step."

Favourite Holiday destination? "We went to Disneyland Florida in 2012 with the family which was great. I'd love to go back to America one day, a fight out there would tick a massive box for me and I'd be able to thank my sponsors American Fire Apparel in person for their support."

Favourite TV programs? "I really like discovery channel or dramas like Luther and Breaking Bad."

Film? "I love the Avengers movies and all the comic style movies like Spiderman etc, my favourite film has to be The Matrix."

Music? "I have quite an eclectic taste in music, my MP3 consists of The Mithered, Oasis, Prodigy and also includes some current popular music along with motown etc." Food? "My diet is really health, including lots a raw whole foods. But if I'm going out for a meal I like a good freshly made Curry!"

Gadget? "I love my Chilli Technology MP3 player that's water proof and is wire free allowing you to run etc without dangling wires."


Book? "The Optimum Nutrition Bible"

Football team? "I have supported Nottingham Forest from being a child, even though my Dad and dare I say it . . is a Derby fan!!"

Something no one knows about you? "When I was 19 I actually spent three months working in different orphanages in Kenya Africa, helping reformed street children. My main contribution was sports coaching as I had recently gained a coaching qualification at that time."

Motto? "The only failure in life is when you fail to try!"

When is your next fight, where and who is it against? "My next fight is my debut on Saturday 23rd May at the Britannia Hotel Nottingham. It's against a tough stocky opponent - Shaun White."

Is there anyone who you really, really would like to fight this year? "Realistically I'll be fighting people lower down the rankings, but I'm always in great shape so should a short notice opportunity come up I'll be willing to go up against any middleweight."

How can fans get in touch with you for tickets? Contact via the website where there's a link to my Facebook page, Twitter @TeamDeanoPro or mobile 07909 045 477