British Welterweight champion Frankie Gavin defeated challenger Jason Welborn last weekend to retain his British title. In the build up to the fight, Gavin signaled his intent to try to make 2013 a big year for him.
Those unfamiliar with Gavin can read some background information on him in an article I wrote following his victory over then British Welterweight title holder, Junior Witter at the end of 2012. I've watched Gavin's professional career fairly closely and plan to continue to provide updates as he progresses.
The fight against Witter, a former WBC light-welterweight champion, was a big step up in class for Gavin, and he doesn't want to stop there. Having overcome personal problems that threatened to derail his boxing career, the victory over Witter was the sweetener at the end of a strong 2012 that Gavin now looks to build upon.
While understanding that he has to continue the hard work he displayed throughout 2012, Gavin stated that he wouldn't say no if offered the chance to face a top opponent like Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan or Kell Brook. A fight against an opponent at that level may be a step too far for Gavin, who is still developing as a professional fighter, but his willingness to step in with anyone is refreshing to see.
Gavin still has a long way to go before he can be considered for fights against the elite boxers of the division. In fact, his only realistic chance for a top draw opponent right now would be as a last minute replacement due to injury or withdrawal.
That being said, I view Gavin as one to watch for 2013. He has the momentum from an impressive previous year, confidence from gaining his first title, and a hunger for success. Gavin is the No. 1 contender for the European Welterweight title, and could enter world title discussion with a strong year.
With this victory, Gavin has definitely started the year out well. He showcased his ability to control the pace of the fight using his slick southpaw stance to his advantage while displaying good power, accuracy and killer instinct to end the fight when he sensed the time had come.
Keep one eye open for this guy creeping in at the end of the year.