By Phil Barnett, Press Association Sport (@barnettoPA) – Frankie Gavin insists there will be no room for sentiment if he has to dump the prestigious British Lonsdale belt in order to secure a European welterweight shot.
The domestic champion defends his crown for the first time against Jason Welborn at Walsall Town Hall on January 18.
The Birmingham fighter earned the title by outsmarting wily veteran Junior Witter recently and has been rewarded with a seemingly straightforward assignment in nearby Walsall against local lad Jason Welborn.
“Nobody wanted to fight Witter, nobody was calling him out except me,”
the 27-year-old told Press Association Sport.
“I got myself into the mandatory position and did what I had to do to get the best of him.
“The dust has settled on that and it’s about defending the title now.
Jason Welborn will do everything he can to get close to me and knock me out but I’ve got different feelings about that.
“I’ll use my ring smarts and ring craft and hopefully will have too much for him.
“It’s going to be a great atmosphere. He sells a lot of tickets, I do too, it’s going to be packed. It’s great for me to be back in my local area in a Brum v Black Country scrap.”
Gavin (14-0, 10KOs), who is ranked in the European top 10, added: “It’s very important to me to keep busy and keep this belt but if the two defences don’t happen quickly and I get offered a European title shot or something different of that stature then I’ll take it.
“It’s important that I keep winning. That’s all that matters to me.
“I’ve got a winner’s mentality. I just want to win, win, win. Whatever it takes.”
Welborn (11-1, 5 KOs) is happy to postpone Christmas festivities in order to fulfil his dream.
He said: “It’s two local lads fighting in the local area and you don’t often get fights like this. That’s why tickets have just flown out – he’s sold all of his and I’ve sold all mine. We’re trying to get more.
“I’ve got to be good over Christmas but this is my Christmas present, to get that belt. I felt it earlier and I want it.”
Local favourite Martin Gethin fights for the vacant British and Commonwealth lightweight belts against Ben Murphy on the same bill.
JOHANNESON IS A ‘JOLLY BOY’
VIP Promotions will round off a hugely successful 2012 with the annual ‘Jolly Boys’ dinner show at Manchester’s Old Trafford Cricket Ground on December 23, headlined by former British super-featherweight king Carl Johanneson.
The five-fight Christmas show, which includes a comedian and other entertainment, is the perfect opportunity for Leeds’ Johanneson to bounce back after September’s eleventh round TKO defeat to Martin Gethin.
“Carl’s always in exciting fights and he was unlucky to just come up a little short against Gethin, who’s now got a British title shot on the back of that win,” said promoter Steve Wood.
“We still believe Carl has things to achieve in the sport and hopefully he can get back to winning ways on this show. We’ve been putting on ‘Jolly Boys’ for some 15 years now and it’s always a terrific event. There’ll be some top boxing, great food and entertainment, and lots of the local boxers will be there for people to meet.
“This year really has been a great one for VIP Promotions. We’ve put on some real quality shows and have built on our reputation as one of the UK’s leading promotional outfits.
“Just a few of the successes include Kevin Satchell winning British and Commonwealth titles at flyweight; Kenny Anderson became British champion; Kerry Hope won the European belt; Josh Warrington is now English champion; Terry Flannigan became English super-featherweight and lightweight Prizefighter champion; Tommy Coyle picked up the WBC International Silver lightweight title, and Brian Rose crowned the year by winning the Lonsdale Belt outright in a great scrap with Sam Webb which was also Loaded TV’s first ever televised fight.
“We definitely have big plans for 2013 and are looking to establish VIP Promotions, and the fighters in our stable, even further.”
‘Jolly Boys’ will take place at the Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, on December 23. The schedule for the show is currently as follows:
(6×3 lightweight) Carl Johanneson v Craig Woodruff
(4×3 lightweight) Callum Cook v Billy smith
(4×3 light-welterweight) Taz Aspergis v Kristian Laight
(4×3 heavyweight) Paul Drago v Moses Matuvo
(4×3 welterweight) Ricky Skelton v Dee Mitchell