By Terence Dooley
Manchester's Denton Vassell, 28, had his promotional licence returned to him by Hatton Promotions earlier this year and the Commonwealth welterweight champion hopes that his free agent status will help secure a showdown with British champion Frankie Gavin, 27. Earlier today, the Manchester Evening News reported that the contest could take place as early as next month, but BoxingScene understands that terms have not been signed.
Vassell is managed by Scotland's Tommy Gilmour. The 20-0 (10) fighter hammered Oldham's Ronnie Heffron to defeat in November, taking Ronnie's '0' in the process, and he now wants to hand Birmingham's Gavin, 15-0 (11), his first professional defeat. Gavin, though, is in equally impressive form, he moved through the gears when defending his British title with a seventh-round stoppage of Tividale's Jason Welborn in January – his southpaw skills would present Vassell with a stern test.
Bob Shannon trains Vassell, he believes that the fight would be a huge shot in the arm for the British scene. “All I can really say is that it would be great news if it came through,” said Shannon when speaking to BoxingScene.
“Denton's not with Hatton Promotions any more, they did a lot for him during his career, but he's guided by his manager Tommy Gilmour now and we're just working hard in the gym to make sure that he's ready whenever a fight comes. I really respect Frankie, he's an exceptional fighter, very talented, and their styles would mix well.
“If they fought it would be a breath of fresh air for the boxing public, who deserve 50-50 fights like this – it would put British boxing back on the map. [Gavin's promoter] Frank Warren is a man who always delivers, he has done it for many years, and he brings fans the top British fights they want and need. Both lads just need to keep working hard in the gym to make sure it is the great fight that everyone thinks it could be.”
Certainly, the meeting would be bound to satisfy fans, it would pit Vassell's pressuring style and natural athleticism against Gavin's southpaw skills and boxing brain. If it comes to fruition it would be a great trade fight and a bona fide FOTY in prospect.
Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.