THE Wolverhampton Civic Hall was supposed to be graduation day for Frankie Gavin. The British and Commonwealth champion was taking on battle hardened 39-year-old Leonard Bundu of Italy for his European title. On paper it was a genuine 50-50 fight. Bundu was proven at this level making six defences of his belt that he won in 2011. Gavin, though, was an outstanding amateur and perhaps too slowly had moved to 19-0 since turning pro in 2009. In that time Gavin had captured his two titles and anytime he was pushed up a level he always came through well with wins against Junior Witter and Denton Vassell.
That level was pushed up a huge notch with Bundu but for five rounds Gavin was excellent as he controlled the distance with his southpaw jab, quick straight lefts and movement that wouldn’t let Bundu get set. Anytime Gavin’s back touched the ropes he cleverly spun away leaving Bundu chasing shadows. Gavin looked the real deal, while Bundu looked his age.
The fight then took a dramatic turn in the sixth as a huge right hook to the ribs dropped Gavin heavily. The fight looked over as Gavin rolled about in pain but somehow late in the count he jumped up. It was a brutal body shot and a reverse of what Mike Tyson did all those years ago with his bolo punches. Tyson would hit the body first to make his opponents hand drop so he could take aim at the head with a stunning hook of uppercut. Bundu did the opposite but it had devastating effect as he set Gavin up by aiming a short right hook to the head before quickly moving downstairs with that even harder body shot. No doubts it changed the fight.