Frankie Gavin on his way to Bilbao

Frankie Gavin travelled by boat to Bilbao this week as preparation steps up ahead of his European Welterweight Title clash with Champion Kerman Lejerraga next month.

The former World Amateur Champion takes on hard-hitting Lejerraga at the Bilbao Exhibition Centre on Saturday, 17th November and travelled to Spain for yesterday’s pre-fight press conference.

Despite travelling the world as an amateur, a ‘bad flight’ led to a fear of planes for the 33 year-old who travelled to the Basque Country by boat for the press conference and will repeat the feat fight week.

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“Everyone knows I don’t like flying,” Gavin told bcb-promotions.com, who now manage the former British & Commonwealth Champion. “I had a bad flight and now I chose not to fly.

“It was fine anyway. I caught a train to Plymouth and then jumped on the ferry to Santander. It was an overnight crossing so I slept most of the time and then got picked up and brought to Bilbao. I’ve had a good few days with the team and learning about the region. I’d like to thank MGZ promotions, and in particular Inigo Hernandez, for their hospitality.”

Gavin set sail on Sunday, arriving on Monday before training Tuesday and Wednesday and returning home today.

“I met (stablemate) Brad Thomas out there and we trained together and pushed each other on. Errol (Johnson – Head of Boxing at BCB) and Brad flew out so I’ve had a couple of days of good training and got to meet Kerman for the first time at the press conference.

“There was mutual respect there.”

Gavin is under no illusions as to the task at hand. ‘The Revolver’, a Bilbao native, is unbeaten in 26 professional fights with 21 KO’s to his name. He’s stopped fellow Brits Bradley Skeete and Denton Vassell along the way and, although Gavin has also defeated the pair, the Brummie boxer is rightly wary of his opponent’s power.

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“Kerman is a hard hitter,” he added. “He’s a tough lad. He likes to brawl and I know I’m up against it a bit. I’m not Denton Vassell or Bradley Skeete though. Bradley was out here last year and he froze a little. The atmosphere is intimidating but I’m prepared for that. It’s only me and Kerman in the ring and I know I’ve not got many chances left.

“However I have to get there; however I have to win, I’m bringing that European title back to the UK.”

Frankie Gavin supporters are encouraged to contact FR Ringside Gym direct to purchase tickets, priced at £50

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New Midlands super lightweight champion Connor Parker is keen to show off the skills that took him to area glory when he’s back in the ring next weekend.

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He makes a quick-fire return to action at Kings Hall in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday October 20, writes Craig Birch.

The reigning titleist features on Errol Johnson’s BCB Promotions show, which has been titled ‘Pride of the Potteries.’

It comes exactly seven weeks after Parker, from Woodville in Derbyshire, enjoyed his finest hour in the pro ranks against Kevin Hooper.

The 23-year-old southpaw travelled to Lincolnshire where the experienced Hooper, a former Midlands and English title holder, had home advantage.

He instead upset the odds, rolling over a bloodied Hooper who retired at the end of the fifth round. Parker takes up the mantle from Andy Keates, who vacated the strap.

Parker remained unbeaten, in the process, scoring his first stoppage to boot. He’s now set his sights on another conqueror of Hooper, English boss Sam O’Maison.

First comes a keep-busy affair at King’s Hall, where Parker had been due to box in July but now finally appears under the lights.

He said: “I was so happy to get the Midlands title win and it was a big step up for me. He was the best fighter I’ve been in with, as a pro, and that brought a lot out of me.

“I shocked myself when I dropped him, I caught him with a few good head shots and he did well to get up from one of them.

“I tried not to rush things, but he kept on going over so it did seem like a matter of time before the fight got stopped. He was cut (under the right eye) and he was hurt.

“I just had to be patient and, when the referee told me it was over, it was well worth the wait. My confidence is through the roof now.

“To go into his back-yard and beat such an experienced opponent like that shows, when I perform, what I can do. The irony is I’ve still never been past six rounds.

“I’d love for my next 10-rounder to be for something like the English title and O’Maison is a quality champion. Hooper got his chance against him and I want the same.

“Hooper was the favourite against me, I proved the people who thought that wrong and it was a good platform to be on.

“It’s got my name out there and now I’ve a job to do at King’s Hall on October 20. I need to go out there and perform. The win that I can get there is important for me.

“It would take me to 9-0 and, hopefully, I can get out again before the end of the year and get to 10. Failing that, I’ll be looking to do that early next year.”

Someone’s ‘0’ must go in the main event at King;s Hall, when Macclesfield’s Jake Haigh and Dudley’s Josh Miller clash in an eight-round super middleweight affair.

Two hometown favourites occupy the home corner elsewhere on the card, as Stoke duo Nathan Heaney and Cole Johnson lace on the gloves.

Heaney has romped to four victories, one of those victories inside the distance, in the middleweight division and could make it a five-star show.

Former national amateur champion Johnson, a graduate of Orme Boxing Club in Newcastle-under-Lyme, joins the lightweight ranks.

Wolverhampton’s Conah Walker, a protege of Ricky Hatton, will be back in action just 28 days from his paid bow with a second outing as a pro. He scored a TKO on his debut.

Tickets, priced at £35 standard and £65 VIP ringside, are on sale now. To purchase, contact any of the boxers on Facebook.

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