FLORIDA’S Jason Gavern, 37, takes on 10-0(10) Anthony Joshua with just over a week’s notice next Saturday (April 4), yet the 26-19-4(11) operator says he will make the most of his latest big opportunity.
The former PrizeFighter finalist has nothing but good things to say about the man he will be swapping leather with:
Q: Firstly, how much notice did you get for this fight?
Jason Gavern: “This fight was announced yesterday, so that’s like a week until the fight. I’m set to fly over to the UK on Sunday or Monday. I wish it was more time, but I’ve got to make the most of this opportunity. It’s an honour to share the ring with Joshua and I’m grateful to Eddie Hearn. This boxing career I’ve had, it’s been a great ride.”
Q: And you just boxed, on March 13th, losing a decision to the unbeaten Gerald Washington?
J.G: “Yeah, I went eight rounds with him. I took a couple of days off then went right back in the gym. I do a lot of Cross Fit training, and also a lot of running. I’m not in the worst of shape. I’ve not had enough time off to get out of shape. This fight with Joshua will be my 50th pro fight. I’ve been in the ring with everybody – either in training and sparring or actually fighting – and I’ve got to say, Anthony Joshua is in the top three fighters I’ve ever been in with. I definitely see him as a future champion and the future of the division as long as he stays on track like he’s been doing. He’s an unbelievably gifted athlete. He does everything well: he moves well, he has power. To me, everything about him is perfect.
“He’s still learning of course and after coming back from an injury as he is, they’re not going to put him in with Godzilla. I understand my role: I’m here to help him climb the ladder. I have nothing to lose in this fight, whereas he has everything to lose. So he should be more worried about the fight than me.”
Q: And which of his fights have you seen and been impressed by?
J.S: “Well, he was on the undercard back when I fought in PrizeFighter (in November 2013 – Gavern reaching the final). So I’ve seen him up close and I’ve also sparred with him. Back in August of last year, I was in camp with him for 10 days. I guess we did around 12 or 15 rounds together. He’s so heavy handed. Sparring with him sucked, I’m not going to lie to you. I was sore, my body hurt. Every time he hit me it hurt, and that was with bigger gloves on. Now I’ve got to fight him with smaller gloves! Oh my God. But the sparring was good work and good experience for him and for me. He’s a gentleman. I’m more of a fan of how he carries himself out of the ring. He’s humble and he was asking me questions when we were working together. He’s like a sponge, learning all he can.”
Q: You went four full rounds with Deontay Wilder. I know you sparred Joshua with bigger gloves, but can you compare the power of Wilder and Joshua – who hits harder?
J.G: “For me, it’s cool to have been in the ring with guys like that. It’s a also crazy to me, to be in with such world class athletes. In terms of power, it’s hard to say, they both hit hard. Anybody who is 6’6” and around 235-pounds as they both are, will hit hard. Wilder has had more fights and more experience, but I think Wilder will be a heavyweight world champion one day, for sure (He is already WBC champ). I’m a fight fan myself as I say, and those two [against one another] would be a super-fight if it happened. Joshua against anybody for the world title, in the UK, would be a massive, massive fight. The UK fans are amongst the best when it comes to supporting their own fighters. Look at the [Carl] Froch [George Groves] fight that drew 80,000 fans!”
Q: Joshua has yet to go beyond the third-round. Do you want to test him and extend him and do you think that such a big, muscled guy as him might have stamina issues we have not seen yet?
J.G: “The same was said about Deontay Wilder, who had not gone past four-rounds, yet in his next fight after [fighting] me, he went 12 easy rounds with [Bermane] Stiverne and nobody expected that. Will Joshua have problems when he goes into the later rounds? No one can answer that question until it happens. But myself, I obviously want to do well in the fight. I always put everything I have into a fight. I won’t lay down. If I get knocked out, it will be while I’m coming forward. This is a huge opportunity for me and I want to put on a show for the fans. Joshua has a job to do right now and I’ll be doing my best to do my job. Let me give the UK fans a shout out! I look forward to putting on a great show.