By Wayne Bartlett: Frankie Gavin looked every inch the potential superstar after a masterful seven round win over Jason Welborn (January 18).
Following up his capture of the British welterweight title in his November win over Junior Witter; Gavin oozed class from start to finish at the Walsall Town Hall in this his first defence.
Hands low out of his southpaw stance, the Birmingham stylist walked the big punching Welborn onto his punches while slipping and sliding his way out of danger.
The challenger had put together a good run of wins prior to this crack at the title but by the second round blood was already trickling from the 26-year-old’s nose.
Despite failing to overcome the superb lateral movement of his unbeaten adversary, Welborn continued to push forward and caused momentary discomfort to Gavin when landing a flush one-two combination in round four.
The successes proved to be few and far between for the Tividale man though, and his resistance was broken after rounds of Gavin superiority when shipping a wonderful short left to the body in round seven.
With the wind knocked out of him, Welborn reached his feet to take a count of eight but succumbed to the follow up assault at 2:35 of the round and drop to 11-2(5).
For a while it was feared the development of the former world-class amateur would be cut short, as personal problems earlier in Gavin’s career plagued him to the point where he pulled out of a fight at just a days notice.
“A couple of weeks ago I had a sore arm and I was close to pulling it (out of the fight),” said the Birmingham fighter to BoxNation afterwards.
“But imagine if I pulled out of a fight, ‘I’ve done this I’ve done that’, I’d get abuse.
“Last night my youngest was rushed into hospital again with suspected pneumonia. The things that have happened in the last few weeks have proved I’m mentally as strong as anyone.”
Re-joining former amateur trainer Tom Chaney for his last four fights has given the 27-year-old stability after previous tutelage under Anthony Farnell and Jimmy Tibbs, for which he acknowledges were troublesome times in his personal life as he praised his former trainers.
“My mental problems are well behind me,” said the now 15-0(11) Gavin.
“I’m just living the life, I’m a perfect athlete now and I’m only going to get better.”
Also on the Walsall bill, Martin Gethin pounded the tough Ben Murphy to defeat in nine rounds to capture the vacant British lightweight title.
Sparser work coming back from Murphy as the rounds went on finally culminated in an unanswered barrage that prompted the stoppage 56 seconds into the ninth round.
There were no protests from the 5ft4ins tall danger-man, who after a bright start was gradually steamrollered into defeat, as the 29-year-old Gethin impressed with a flowing attack of hooks and hurtful body shots behind his jab.
New champ Gethin racks his up 9th straight win, following up his excellent win over Carl Johanneson to move to 24-3-1(11), whilst 32-year-old Murphy drops to 9-6-1(5).