FRANKIE Gavin throws his “Funtime” moniker firmly to one side as he begins a new chapter in his career under the guidance of legendary East End trainer Jimmy Tibbs when he faces Frenchman Frank Horache Horta 26-8 (9) for the WBO Intercontinental welterweight title at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre, Manchester, on Friday October 28. Boxnation Televise live.
Ironically 26-year-old Gavin, unbeaten in 11 contests, returns to the city he partially blames for the up and down start to his time in the ring punching for pay after a well documented stellar amateur career. Not only will he be making his bow under the stewardship of Tibbs, but it will be the first time Gavin hasn’t fought on a Frank Warren promotion as a professional. The change of direction under father and son team Jimmy and Mark has already started to improve his condition according to Gavin. ” The training has been very different and enjoyable, we have concentrated on my diet so that weight isn’t a problem”
The confident southpaw has targeted former world champion Junior Witter, a bout the board of control have sanctioned as an eliminator for the British title, but he must not over look the challenge posed by the French domestic champion. “I am confident of beating anyone in Britain” said Gavin,”The only one who is ahead of me is Kell Brook, but that’s not a fight I can never win”. “I have the skill and pedigree, I just need more experience over 12 rounds and hopefully next year I will be challenging for a world title”. “This guy (Horta) is no mug, he’s not the most technical but he is tough and likes a scrap”
Horta, a 31 year old Southpaw from Lyon in the South of France is a relative unknown to British fans but has boxed on these shores once before,losing an eight round points decision to Mark Thompson in October 2007. With only nine stoppage wins in a 34 fight slate he’s no puncher and will therefore most likely have to out box Gavin to win, an outcome hard to envisage.
Despite the Intercontinental bauble on the line, this is billed as a showcase for the skilled technician to look good in front of a television audience, after a string of sub par showings against Young Mutley and Curtis Woodhouse. With local bragging rights at stake Gavin may well have taken his eye off the ball, and certainly against Woodhouse, deserted his boxing to brawl it out with the former footballer in a bout that did nothing for his reputation and ultimately lead him to a change of trainers.
With a slot on the recent Bellew-Cleverly show in Liverpool turned down in favour of more gym time with his new team, I expect Gavin to do a job on Horta, showing a renewed impetus, as he works over the out skilled Frenchman to become the first man to stop him somewhere around the eighth.
The undercard of this Queensbury promotions bill features Chris Johnson 14-3 against hot prospect Ronnie Heffron 7-0in a Central Area welterweight title fight. 30-year-old Johnson, the defending champion, packs a bit of a dig with eight stoppage wins in his 14 contests and will undoubtedly test Heffron after the youngster failed to shine on the big Liverpool show last time out.