“When I was sat in the changing rooms beforehand, I told myself that none of these guys were Kell Brook.” Chad Gaynor’s self-motivational briefing regarding gym battles with Sheffield’s special one may not have brought him the Prizefighter gong that he desperately craved but the Rotherham prospect’s pre-battle rally cry to himself took him to a semi-final epic with eventual winner, Glenn Foot, in a close encounter that was decided by the Sunderland man’s more industrious workrate.
Despite the setback suffered against Foot, praise for Gaynor’s displays and efforts have been widely applauded by those within the fight game’s community. Famed for providing maiden opportunities and final chances, Prizefighter’s illustrious past has brought vast recognition to sincere warriors like Martin Rogan and Gary Buckland and has also granted grand title cracks for lost superstars such as Audley Harrison. The aforementioned trio gained their accolades via tournament success but for Gaynor, the growing acclaim has arrived following an exit in the competition’s middle stanza. The Yorkshire youngster explains his newly acquired appeal.
“It has been strange the last few days because even though I didn’t win it, people are telling me that I was the best boxer in Prizefighter,” buzzed the likeable 21 year old. “It’s very rare you see a semi-finalist get the feedback that I’ve been given but I think it shows everyone what I’m capable of and I always believed that I’d leave my mark on the competition in some fashion. I’m not taking nothing away from Glenn Foot, he beat me and he went on to win the whole thing but the fact that people are talking about me as much as the guy who went on to win it speaks volumes about my ability and I’m really grateful for all the kind comments.”
Gaynor’s rise to the crucial point where he currently finds himself, an eager protégée desperate to be let off the leash held firmly by promoter, Dave Coldwell, has been a steady one without much disruption. Turning professional at 18 following a rewarding unpaid career that culminated in Junior ABA and CYP success, Gaynor’s infancy as a paid ring operative was no different to that of any other prospect obtaining their apprenticeship as he easily navigated his way through the resilient roster of journeymen that work within the jurisdiction of the domestic welterweight division.
Early endings and dominant displays were a recurring feature during Gaynor’s initial boxing education but it was away from the bright lights and boisterous noise of various Yorkshire scrap venues where Gaynor was learning the most vital lessons of all as he participated in several spars with upcoming world title challenger, Brook, who goes up against dangerous southpaw, Devon Alexander, next month for the St Louis man’s IBF welterweight title.
“The experience you get from sparring with someone as brilliant as Kell is priceless and I believe that has given me a lot of confidence when approaching fights in my career. We didn’t do any sparring in my build-up for Prizefighter because he’s preparing for a left-handed fighter in Alexander but the rounds we’ve done in the past have been so important for my development. Kell’s on the verge of a world title against a quality opponent and for me to say that I’ve been in the ring with him, even though it’s only sparring, means a lot and that’s why I didn’t fear anyone in Prizefighter.”
Now showing glimpses of the potential that has been spoken about vehemently by those within Yorkshire’s knowledgeable boxing circle, Gaynor firmly believes that 2013 will be the year where he can capitalise on his Prizefighter performances and compete for further honours before the year’s end. With his next outing scheduled for February 22nd at Rotherham’s Magna Centre, Gaynor is demanding a step-up in rounds and class once he gets his next fight out the way.
“Next for me is a six-rounder and I know Dave will get me a decent test because that’s the way he likes to work. Welterweight is a great division in British boxing at the moment and there’s some guys I’m certainly not ready for but that doesn’t mean to say that I’m not ready to be fighting for titles of some sort. Me and Glenn Foot in a ten-rounder for the English title would be something I’d love and I’m praying that it can be made. I left myself too much to do over three rounds when we met in Prizefighter but things will be different next time we meet over the longer distance.”