Birmingham’s Frankie Gavin insists he won’t let the memory of his first defeat in nine years blight his return to Wolverhampton Civic Hall tomorrow night.
Gavin wants to exorcise the demons of his first pro loss on a split decision to then-European champion Leonard Bundu, which took place in Wolverhampton on August 1.
Now he’s back at the Civic for another Friday fight night, stepping into the same ring for an eight-round international tune up against Hungarian teenager Mate Hornyak, writes Craig Birch.
The British and Commonwealth welterweight champion is returning to domestic level as he waits for another chance to step up, with Bundu’s vacated crown set to be contested elsewhere.
Gavin said: “I want to get back to winning ways and what happened last time at the Civic won’t come into my mind. That’s gone now.
“Bundu was a good fight against a world-class operator that could have gone either way. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the decision.
“I was desperate to get a rematch, but he made it clear all along it was his last title defence. The belt has gone now, so I have to move on.”
After the Civic, Gavin will instead engage in a battle for the belts at the ExCel Arena in London on Saturday November 29 with Bradley Skeete, who puts up his WBA Inter-Continental strap.
First comes the rangy Hornyak, just 19, travels to England for the first time with 12 wins from 16 on his record and has challenged for the WBO Youth title.
And ‘Funtime Frankie’ is looking to make an example of the ‘Long Rifle,’ with Skeete sure to be watching when the fight is broadcast on BoxNation.
Gavin said: “If I don’t perform, that will give Skeete confidence that he can beat me, so I need to prove that I am a class above him.
“I don’t think he wanted this fight, perhaps he was waiting for me to vacate but here we are, he has no choice but to meet me in the ring next month.
“I want his belt, I was ranked No 4 by the WBA but I have slipped down now, so I am hoping that title will get me right back up there. That’s incentive enough for me.
“I am happy with the opponent I have in Wolverhampton, he’s young so he won’t have the fear of getting tagged like the journeymen do. He will come to fight.
“I have tracked down some footage of him, he’s a tall lad who likes to launch the right uppercuts but I won’t be there when they land.
“He’s got a lot of pro experience for a teenager and four knockouts on his record so there’s, obviously, a bit of sting there. I won’t take him lightly.
“But he’s not done so well when he’s stepped up a level, which is what will happen here. It’s up to me to take him apart.”
For more information and tickets for tomorrow night’s show, call the Civic box office on 0870 320 7000 or promoter Paul ‘PJ’ Rowson on 07976 283 157.