Frankie Gavin’s final reckoning

Frankie Gavin
Action Images/Peter Cziborra
Frankie Gavin tells John Dennen why he will come through and win the European title from devastating puncher Kerman Lejarraga

FRANKIE GAVIN is adamant that he can become the European champion. After a tune up bout, scheduled for September 16 in Birmingham, he will challenge reigning champion Kerman Lejarraga in Bilbao on November 17.

Gavin has struggled with lack of opportunity and activity since losing to Sam Eggington but will get the title shot this year. He is not surprised that he has finally got this fight. “I was mandated,” he said. “I lost to [Leonard] Bundu on a close, split decision, I lost to [Kell] Brook for the world title and I lost to [Sam] Eggington in a fight which was a really good fight and there wasn’t much in it when I did lose in the seventh. When I look at the [European rankings] list I don’t see anybody I couldn’t beat. I’m not really surprised. I’m more surprised because I haven’t really got a promoter who’s got really hold of it. When I got the message I was next in line I was happy really and it gave me that buzz back again.”

Gavin has made mistakes in his career. But, now training with Malcolm Melvin, he insists he is disciplined and focused. “For 12 weeks now I haven’t had a beer, I shouldn’t have any being a boxer but the way I feel I don’t think I’ll drink again,” he told Boxing News.

“He’s a workhorse. He’s tightened up my defence a lot because before I used to rely on my foot movement but it’s hard to do that over 12 rounds. Then I’d run out of ideas and sit on the ropes. Now we’re working on staying inside with angles, picking our shots, tapping away, moving. He’s taught me a lot. My style’s changed a little bit with him. I feel twice as strong. I never really used to do circuits. For the first six weeks all I done with Malcolm was circuits, to get my weight down. It’s been all strict diet and training hard.”

But the European title fight will be a dangerous assignment for Gavin. Lejarraga looked devastating when he knocked out Bradley Skeete.

“Skeete flattered him,” Gavin maintained. “I think he weren’t up to the task.

“There’s no one on there [his record] he’s beat who I can’t beat.”

Frankie Gavin

“He has got a crowd,” Frankie had to admit, but he adds, “I’ve seen most of it before.”

“At the end of the day, I’m going to walk through that crowd and they’re not going to touch me. It’s only me and him in the ring. I’ve got to remember that, keep my head right, go out there and do a job on him. Obviously if it’s close I’m not going to get it so I’ve really got to do a number. In all seriousness, I don’t think he’s as good as Leonard Bundu, he’s definitely not as good as Kell Brook, he’s not going to bring anything I haven’t seen before. He obviously does punch but apart from Skeete he hasn’t put another name out,” he continued.

“I’m not going to take this sort of fight lightly, I can’t take this sort of fight lightly… I’m not going to get done in two rounds. That’s not what I’ve come to do. You’ve never ever seen me take a knee or nothing. Sometimes I’ve been my own worst enemy by standing there, getting caned where I should have took the knee. I haven’t really got it in me. I don’t like losing so I won’t be going there to make the numbers up, no way. I’ll be going there to win the title.”

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