By Kasim Aslam
When Chad Gaynor came out of last year’s Prizefighter: The Welterweights he didn’t bag the £32,000 prize nor did he have a gleaming silver trophy to show for his efforts. Instead, the man from Rotherham, Yorkshire walked away from the competition with his reputation enhanced by putting up a brave and classy effort in the tournament before losing to eventual winner Glenn Foot in the semi-final.
Over a year later, Gaynor is hoping to fulfil the expectations he has for himself by working towards becoming mandatory challenger for the English welterweight title, currently held by Frank Warren-promoted Bradley Skeete. However, the talented 23-year-old must first face an as yet unnamed opponent on the 9th of May in Sheffield on a show promoted by Dave Coldwell.
“I don’t know who the next opponent will be. I leave all that to Dave,” said the welterweight when speaking to BoxingScene. “The purpose of my next fight is to keep me busy and to improve what I have learnt so far because I want to be ready when I face the likes of Bradley Skeete and people like that.
“In my last fight [W8 over Krzystof Szot] my opponent changed a couple days before so I underestimated him and I did the weight quite wrong. I’m not making any excuses, but I gained the experience and will improve for my next fight.”
Gaynor also revealed on Twitter that his promoter Dave Coldwell had offered a fight to a top tier domestic talent, but was tight lipped on the name until the deal had been finalised. In our conversation the prospect revealed that the offer was made to Denton Vassell, whose only loss in his professional career came from British welterweight champion Frankie Gavin. However, the offer was rejected.
“Denton Vassell was the one who turned it down,” said Gaynor. “Dave texted me asking if I would take the fight and I jumped at it straight away. But we waited and a few days I got another text from Dave saying that he turned the fight down because he wanted a steady fight for his comeback. So I think me and Vassell will fight in the future after he finds an easier opponent and wins.”
“I rate Denton very highly,” stated Gaynor. “He is a big guy for welterweight so people might think it’s a step up too far when it’s actually not. He’s a good boxer but I wouldn’t say has a great boxer because there are better boxers out there. I know I can beat him.”
As previously mentioned, the next target for the 14-1 (7) contender is a shot at Skeete’s English title. Thus far, Coldwell Promotions and Gaynor himself have been manoeuvring themselves into a mandatory position and with his next fight an eight rounder in May, the welterweight revealed that he would be mandatory for the sought-after English title.
“I do rate Bradley Skeete, to be fair he is a really good boxer,” he said. “Style wise I would go and say that his style is made for me. We both would want the fight so I say we should just get it on and let the best man win, even though I know it’s not him!”
“Dave wants me to become mandatory. One more fight, I will be mandatory, so he will have no choice but to fight me. I’ve seen him fight and I know I can beat him because I bring pressure and I’ve got that power punch as well. He got knocked down by Colin Lynes and I punch harder than him. If I land, I don’t think he will get up.”
Gaynor’s confidence stems from the tough daily rota he has enlisted to prepare him to be a more improved and rounded pugilist. A famous phrase by the skilfully astute Floyd Mayweather has attached itself to the boxing world—budding athletes have hollered ‘Hard work, dedication’ in many gyms across the world.
For Gaynor, this is a phrase that perfectly defines his tiring schedule as he has a full time job, something he has to accommodate with his training. “It’s a nightmare to be honest,” he said.
“I work in Nottingham, which is an hour journey from my home. I wake up half past four in the morning and start work at seven, I then finish work at half five in the afternoon. I get in the gym about six o’clock and then get home at half past eight. I am working 15/16 hour days. Working could impact me as I progress, but I am hoping that I have enough money saved to stop and concentrate on boxing full time. But so far I am getting used to it.”
It’s refreshing to speak to a young prospect that flourishes with confidence, yet understands that the path to glory is paved with graft and patience. The prospect of a fight with Denton Vassell hasn’t scuppered the long-term plan, but demonstrates Gaynor’s ambition. Sparring with Frankie Gavin, Adam Etches and Kell Brook has developed his foundations—now he is keen to demonstrate his talent on the big stages of British boxing.