Boxing


Gavin And DeGale - Warren Says Gavin Will Win A Title In Two Years, DeGale Says He'll Win Over The Fans

Frankie Gavin02.03.09 - by James Slater - This past Saturday night, three British amateur stars successfully made their pro debuts, as Olympians James DeGale and Billy Joe Saunders won and former world amateur champion Frankie Gavin did likewise. All three boxers won with no real trouble, although DeGale was booed by some in the crowd as he won on points over his scheduled four-rounder, and Gavin suffered a cut nose caused by a head butt.

Speaking about the boos he received, gold medallist DeGale said he will win over the type of fans that jeered him as he out-pointed Vepkhia Tchilaia - in time.

"It was a little disappointing, but it takes two to tangle and it's hard when he [Tchilaia] boxed that negatively," DeGale said. "I could have opened up a bit more, but it's all a learning curve for me. I was an amateur sine I was ten - that's thirteen years - and I've only been a pro for eight weeks. I believe I can win these people over given time."

It was quite surprising to hear so many fans letting their displeasure with the Olympic hero's performance be known. Okay, so the 23-year-old never scored a KO, but there was no need for booing. Remember, though, how another one-time Olympic good guy in Audley Harrison fell out of favour with the fans - it is to be hoped the same thing will not happen with the super-middleweight.

Promoter Frank Warren thinks his fighter will not let him down.

"I thought it was a little unkind of some sections of the crowd [to boo]," Warren said. "He's a quality fighter and I'm convinced he'll do the business."

Perhaps the fans who were not happy with DeGale's display felt that way after having seen the other two amateur stars, in Gavin and Saunders, score stoppage victories. Warren was very happy with what he saw from Gavin, the man who famously failed to make weight for the games in Beijing.

The promoter went as far as to say the 23-year-old, who stopped George Kadaria in the 4th and final round at welterweight on Saturday, will be the holder of a pro title in two years time.

"I think Frankie's going to settle down fairly quickly," Warren said. "I think he will be fighting for a title within the next two years providing he keeps focusing on his training and on his weight. I think he's exciting - obviously he's a quality fighter. He's turning pro after a lengthy amateur career.

"He was throwing good body shots. It normally takes guys a little while to have the confidence to do that. It was a shame about the cut, the guy was rushing in with his head. But that's the game we're in. He knows people are going to be coming at him and he'll have to deal with that."

It will certainly be interesting following the careers of all three young talents as they progress up the rankings of their respective weight divisions. As for middleweight Saunders, just 19-years-old, he may turn out to be the best of the trio. Saunders scored the quickest and arguably most eye-catching win on Saturday - getting rid of Attila Molnar inside two-rounds.

Article posted on 03.03.2009



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