Gavin Gwynne became British lightweight champion at the third attempt as he claimed the vacant title with a unanimous points decision over Luke Willis at York Hall in East London. 

The Welshman towered over Willis but took time to make his physical advantages tell as Willis beat him to the punch in the first two rounds. 

But from the third round onwards, Gwynne managed to get Willis to stand and trade with him, which suited him as he just outgunned Willis and slowly wore him down. 

Gwynne, 31, had failed in two previous attempts to win the title against Joe Cordina and James Tennyson, but had won the Commonwealth title by beating Sean McComb last year and was making the second defence of that belt. 

“It’s an unbelievable feeling, it has been a dream of mine,” Gwynne said as he fought back the tears.  

“I failed twice and I wasn't going to let it happen [again]. I thought I was doing to get a stoppage in round, but it didn’t come. Luke Willis is a tough cookie who hit me with some good shots. Fair play to him for sticking with it, he took some heavy punishment. 

Willis had his moments, moving well and showing fast hands. But the longer the fight went on, the more trouble he had keeping the bigger man off him as he was backed up into the ropes. 

Gwynne was just relentless, setting a fast pace and throwing punches more or less non-stop. By the sixth round, Willis was feeling the pace and backing away. Willis fired back at the start of the seventh, as hit bit down on his gumshield and tried to find a way back into the fight.  

But he couldn’t dissuade Gwynne from coming forward as the Welshman piled up the points. Gwynne seemed close to stopping Willis in the eighth round, but Willis stuck at it as Gwynne’s workrate finally slowed in the last few rounds. 

Michael Alexander scored it 117-113, Mark Bates 118-110 and Kieran McCann 115-112. 

Next up is set to be Craig Woodruff in an all-Welsh clash. The British Boxing Board of Control ordered that the new champion must defend the British title against Woodruff within 90 days. 

On the undercard, Sam Gilley retained his English super-welterweight title as he stopped Drew Brown in the ninth round of a scheduled ten in a proper war. 

Both men had looked on the brink of defeat several times, with Gilley looking out on his feet at one point in the eighth before firing back in an incredible round of action. But somehow Gilley found the energy and quality to finish matters in the ninth, landing a left-right combination to send Brown staggering back to the ropes and then a right to end it, referee Kieran McCann diving in to stop it as Brown fell to the floor. 

Kazakhstan super-featherweight Sultan Zaurbek extended his unbeaten record to 13 fights as he knocked out Nicolas Nahuel Botelli, of Argentina, with a left hook to the body in the fifth round.

Irish super-lightweight Pierce O'Leary moved to 9-0 as he knocked out France's Nathan Augustine with a left hook 19 seconds before the end of the first round.

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.