Gavin v Brook – BIG FIGHT PREVIEW
Tomorrow night, on Sky Box Office, former Irish light welterweight champion, Frankie Gavin, takes on Kell Brook for the Sheffield fighter’s IBF welterweight world title. The Birmingham-born boxer enters the bout as a massive underdog with the bookies but Funtime Frankie is confident he can spring a surprise and Irish fight fans should get behind the talented fighter whose parents hail from Dublin and Tipperary.
Gavin [22(13)-1(0)] made history in 2007 when he became Britain’s first, and only, World Amateur Champion. Hotly tipped to medal at the Beijing Olympics the following year, the slick southpaw had to withdraw due to weight issues. Proud of his Irish roots, the Birmingham man would win the Irish light welterweight title in 2010 with a fifth round stoppage of Dundalk’s Michael Kelly before winning British and Commonwealth belts. Last year he lost his unbeaten record after dropping a razor-thin decision to Leonard Bundu for the European title. The 29 year old has since bounced back with four wins on the spin and will be hoping to continue that streak tomorrow.
Also 29, Kell Brook [34(23)-0] is understandably one of the jewels in the Matchroom Boxing crown. After years on the fringes, the Sheffield counterpuncher won the IBF title last Summer in an upset victory over the much-hyped American brawler, Shawn Porter. Tragedy would then strike as ‘Special K’ was subject to a vicious assault in Tenerife a few weeks later where he was stabbed in the leg four times. Thankfully Brook would make a miraculous recovery and, in March, he defended his title for the first time against Jo Jo Dan, blowing out the Canadian-based Romanian within four rounds.
Keys to Victory
Based on their careers to date, Brook is understandably the favourite going into the bout – although his 1/12 price seems excessive. 6/1 underdog Gavin is supremely confident of causing the upset in a fight where he has nothing to lose. To win he must have the fight of his life – more specifically he must take Brook out of his comfort zone. Chasing the fight would play right into the champion’s counterpunching hands and Gavin would be well advised to stand off and try make Brook come to him – where he can then use his own considerable boxing skills. Here, of course, Gavin’s southpaw stance and slight height advantage are added benefits.
Movement will also be key. The extent of Brook’s recovery was not tested by Jo Jo Dan who was content to stand square and trade. Noted slickster Gavin will surely not take this approach. Finally, there is also a chance that, with Brook openly chasing big money fights with Mayweather and Khan, that he has somewhat overlooked his most immediate challenge.
The fight might not be pretty but the former Irish champion has a real chance of victory.
Rule Britannia: Brook-Gavin is live from London’s O2 Arena on Sky Box Office this Saturday from 10:30PM