EUROPEAN middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders has backed friend Frankie Gavin to beat Leonard Bundu this Friday night in Wolverhampton and become European welterweight champion.
Saunders defeated Italian Emanuele Blandamura last Saturday in Manchester via eighth round stoppage to add the prestigious European belt to his British and Commonwealth titles, and believes Birmingham star Gavin can halt Bundu to become a triple champion.
The pair have followed almost identical career paths from being GB amateur team mates; turning professional at the same time with Frank Warren; both holding unbeaten records; both winning British and Commonwealth titles.
Saunders reckons Gavin has got the tools to cause a big upset and inflict the first defeat on Bundu’s record.
“Frankie can do the business this Friday and join me as a reigning British, Commonwealth and European champion, when he wins the title against Bundu,” said Saunders.
“To win the ‘big three’ belts before a world title is a real honour and a tremendous feeling knowing that you’re the best in your country, the Commonwealth and all of Europe, it’s one step away from fighting for a world title and proving that you’re the best in the whole world.
“It’s not an easy fight for Frankie, but neither was Blandamura against me, these Italians are tough and come to fight, but Frankie is easily the most talented and naturally gifted fighters in this country and I’ve no doubt he will beat Bundu.
“Bundu’s the champion, but Gavin is going to have to fight like he’s fighting Bundu in Italy instead of his backyard. He’s got the home advantage, but he needs the challenger’s attitude of fighting away from home and rip the title from Bundu.”
Gavin is thrilled that Saunders has every confidence that he’ll beat Bundu, but is not taking anything for granted.
“Billy had a fantastic win last Saturday and now it’s my turn to make sure I win the European title and keep it here,” said Gavin.
“I’ve dreamt of this since I was a kid, winning the British, Commonwealth, and European titles and now I can’t believe it’s nearly a reality.
“Nothing is getting in the way of me winning, I’ve achieved everything else I’ve set out to do so far in my career and this is the next step for me. Bundu is a tough, strong, champion and gets my respect, but I believe that my skills are far superior to his and he won’t be able to deal with what I’m going to do.”
Gavin v Bundu headlines the show promoted by Frank Warren, in association with P.J Promotions, with a few remaining tickets left available on 0870 320 7000 and www.wolvescivic.co.uk. Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/HD 490 and Virgin Ch. 546), join at www.boxnation.com