Rejuvenated Frankie Gavin looking forward to European title challenge against Kerman Lejarraga

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Welterweight Frankie Gavin 25-3 (15) credits his decision to give up the grog and a change of trainer for rejuvenating his career ahead of his European title fight against KO artist Kerman Lejarraga 26-0 (21) later this year.

The 32-year-old southpaw from Birmingham will fight a six rounder against an opponent to be named on September 16 at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham before challenging unbeaten EBU European welterweight champion Kerman Lejarraga at the BEC Bizkaia Arena, Bilbao in Spain on November 17.

The 26-year-old Spanish knockout artist won the European crown with a second round TKO of world-rated Bradley Skeete 27-2 (12) in April.

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Gavin, who is now trained by Malcom Melvin, says giving up the beers has been a godsend.

“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.”

Lejarraga destroyed Skeete but Gavin believes the result flattered to deceive.

“Skeete flattered him,” Gavin said. “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.”

Gavin insists he has faced better boxers than “Revolver”.

“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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