By Tom Tarte
Former amateur star Frankie Gavin starts off his 2012 campaign by taking on Scotland's Kevin McIntyre, in his 12th fight on the undercard of Nathan Cleverly's World title defence against Tommy Karpency at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena on later tonight.
Gavin, 26, was Britain's first ever World Champion in the amateur ranks and was deemed the best hope for a medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Unfortunately, Gavin failed to make weight ahead of the tournament’s opening and when he turned pro with the other Olympians, it was gold medallist James DeGale who had the limelight. Gavin's talent soon caught the eye of boxing fans and many predicted a bright future for the boxer from Birmingham. However, since his impressive display against Michael Lomax a year ago, Gavin's career has stagnated. In his previous fight he escaped with a split decision over footballer turned boxer, Curtis Woodhouse.
Many have questioned Gavin's move up to the welterweight division and his dedication to the sport. So when he returns on the 25th February he aims to dismiss any doubts that people may have and prove just how good he is. Since his fight with Woodhouse he has invested his own money into working with a nutritionist – Kerry Kayes, who will also be in Gavin’s corner on Saturday night – and plans to grow into the 147lb division.
McIntyre, who recently competed in the Prizefighter welterweight tournament has amassed a record of 30 wins with eight losses and should provide a decent test for Gavin.
Frankie Gavin certainly has the skills and boxing IQ to become a top fighter in years to come and with the welterweight division being so strong, there are great fights to be made.
BoxNation, Sky channel 456, will televise the show live and exclusive from 8pm on Saturday night.