By Wayne Bartlett: It may not have been pretty but Frankie Gavin is the new British welterweight champion after unanimously outpointing Junior Witter.
As expected the early running saw Witter attempt to hold onto his title via his now familiar hands low, posturing, trap-setting style, and it did cause Gavin enough problems to ensure a quiet opening four rounds.
After then however the former amateur world champion, now undefeated as a pro in 14 fights, took control enough in the remaining rounds to grind out a decision that will surely not live long in the memory.
"At my best I would have beat him and I weren’t at my best." said Witter in the post fight interview after scorecards of 112-117, 109-119 and 110-117 were announced by the MC followed by the words ’And the new’.
His reflexes and speed eroded, Witter may be right about beating his opponent when at his best. But no one will argue about the second part of his statement.
’The Hitter’, who shone so brightly after losing an early world title shot to Zab Judah in 2000 to rattle off 21 straight wins, spanning seven years and capturing the British, European, Commonwealth and WBC world light welterweight titles, was not at his best at all.
Witter, 38, at his best hasn’t been seen for years and Gavin’s best we have yet to see.
Affected by widely documented problems outside of the ring, the 27-year-old from Birmingham has seen his professional career stall hugely despite its great promise.
Tonight however may be the kick-start the undefeated southpaw needs as he wrested the Lonsdale belt from now one of British boxing’s stalwarts.
We can only hope to see Gavin go on and achieve the heights Witter has throughout his distinguished career, as he certainly possesses the talent to do so.
welterweight Ronnie Heffron w pts 8 Peter McDonagh
welterweight Gary Corcoran w tko 1 Ross Payne
super flyweight Charlie Hoy w pts 6 Francis Croes
super featherweight Craig Evans w pts 6 Ideh Ockuko
light heavyweight Miles Shinkwin w pts 4 Jody Meikle
middleweight John Dignum w pts 4 Joe Walsh
November 1, 2012