Frankie Gavin retained his British Welterweight crown, Martin Gethin claimed the British Lightweight title and Chris Keane secured the Midlands Area Cruiserweight strap on an action-packed night last Friday (18th January).
In front of a capacity crowd, live on BoxNation, even the snow storms couldn’t cool the atmosphere on a white-hot evening of boxing at Walsall Town Hall.
Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin produced a stylish victory over Jason Welborn to take his record to 15-0 on Frank Warren’s – in association with Midlands Promoter Errol Johnson – first show of the year.
The 27 year-old’s impressive ninth round win took his stoppage tally to 11 and, although Rowley Regis’ Welborn put in a gutsy performance, Gavin’s quality shone throughout.
“I promised I would deliver a quality performance,” Gavin told www.uko-boxing.com. “I knew that Welborn would suit my style and that’s exactly the way it worked out. I was in terrific condition after the best camp I have ever had.”
“I just missed too many shots and it wore me down after a bit,” added Welborn. “I think I was a bit too eager but I’ll come back.
“Frankie’s a good kid and, at the end of the day, he’s a lot more experienced than me. The best man won on the night, fair play to him.”
Earlier on in the evening Walsall’s Martin Gethin soaked up Ben Murphy’s early pressure to fight the perfect fight and secure the Lightweight crown.
The 29 year-old remained calm despite the Hove man’s frantic start and, by the fourth round, the hometown hero took charge and schooled his less experienced opponent.
Precision punches – Gethin hardly missed the target all night – took their toll and, after a barrage of blows, Murphy’s evening came to an end thanks to a ninth round stoppage.
“It was hard work to start with but when I relaxed with my shots I outworked him,” Gethin told www.uko-boxing.com. “Errol Johnson, my trainer and manager, said to me ‘as soon as you’ve got him on the back foot, you’ve won the fight’ and that’s exactly what happened. I worked on my jab, worked on my jab, switched down to the body and that was it.
“It has been a long road but to win this title is a dream come true.”
Cruiserweight Chris Keane made it double delight for Walsall as he blew away Nottingham’s Shane McPhilbin inside three rounds. Keane, fighting in his hometown, was the aggressor throughout and floored McPhilbin early in the third with a spiteful uppercut.
Keane was relentless and, after twice hitting the canvas, referee Robert Chalmers had little choice but to call an end to proceedings; crowning Keane as the new Midlands Area Cruiserweight Champion in the process.
“I’m really pleased,” Keane told www.uko-boxing.com. “I was a bit out of range early on and I could have done a bit better but it’s one of those things and you learn from it.
“Hopefully there will be many more good things to come this year and we’ll see what happens from here.”
The undercard produced a number of entertaining contests too.
Mark McKray upset the form guide by blotting Tom Shaw’s previously perfect copybook. Burton’s Shaw went into the contest on the back of eight straight victories.
However, McKray recorded only a fourth career win to take his own record to 4-17-1. The London-scrapper dazed Shaw with a series of blows and, with Shaw in no position to continue, the fight was halted with just one second of the opening round to go.
Stafford’s Grant Cunningham stepped up to six rounds and did a professional job against Lincoln’s Mitch Mitchell. The 28 year-old had Mitchell in trouble in the fifth but ‘Mad Mitch’ saw the fight out. Cunningham improved his record to 7-0 with a comfortable points win.
“I was pleased as I haven’t boxed since October and that was my first six-rounder,” Cunningham told www.uko-boxing.com. “I had to be patient, and it’s a shame I couldn’t get him out early, but the main thing is I’m progressing and learning.”
Before those two entertaining bouts, two early stoppages opened the evening.
Birmingham Super Middleweight, Andrew Robinson, dismissed Leamington Spa’s John Mason with just three seconds of the first round remaining. Robinson’s body shots hurt Mason and, after going down three times, the contest was rightly halted.
Cannock’s Dave Egan also secured a first knock-out, and fourth straight victory, with a stunning one round demolition of Luton’s Ricky Stock.
The 29 year-old needed just 93 seconds to blow his opponent away with a stunning right hook.
“The knockout was a great feeling but horrible at the same time,” Egan told www.uko-boxing.com. “I’d spoken to Ricky before the fight and he came across as a really nice chap.
“Then I knock him out, and it was a proper knockout, he was gone on the floor, that wasn’t the nicest feeling. As soon as you know he’s all right, it’s ok though. All your mates are cheering, so it is such a buzz.”