Brook should walk through Gavin


    Kell BrookSky Sports pundit and former WBO World cruiserweight champion Johnny Nelson has chimed in on this weekend’s welterweight clash between defending champion Kell Brook (34-0, 23 KO’s) and challenger Frankie Gavin (22-1, 13 KO’s) for the IBF World welterweight title at the O2 Arena in London, England.

    Nelson rose to prominence in the late 1990’s under the same roof and guidance that has served Brook well on his march to a world title. The Ingle Gym in Wincobank, Sheffield has produced some fine pugilists over the years including ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed, Herol Graham, Ryan Rhodes, Junior Witter and Kid Galahad. The patriarch Brendan Ingle and his son Dominic have laid down a philosophy and approach to training that is iron-clad for success to those who adopt it fully.

    Nelson told ‘Seconds Out Boxing’ that as soon as he received word his former gym-mate had been matched against Frankie Gavin, he headed straight back to his old haunt to issue a word of warning.

    “As soon I heard this fight was made I went into the gym and said, Dominic, listen. He’s got to have some fear in his belly because if he doesn’t, Frankie gavin’s gonna hustle him and pickpocket him and take it away.’ Because Frankie Gavin was an outstanding technician as an amateur, he’s an outstanding technician as a pro. He’s just never been tested to the point where he believes in himself. Now he’s up against it, he’s expected to lose. He knows he’s the underdog. So if you go in there and think you can just knock Frankie Gavin out, if that’s Kell’s mentality, he won’t get hurt but he’ll get pickpocketed, he’ll get picked off.”

    Gavin has experienced one bout in which he had to go to the trenches. His only loss as a professional came last August when he took on then undefeated champion Leonard Bundu for the EBU Welterweight title. They went a hard-paced twelve rounds, and the only thing that split them was a sickening body shot knockdown in the sixth that crippled Gavin. He barely made the count, but fought on and was in control by the end of the fight. However, he came up short.

    That was a fight in where he proved he can bite down on the gum shield and plough on despite the distress signals his body was sending him. He may have to perform a similar feat against an explosive hitter like Brook, who possess a finesse and craft missing from many a top-level puncher.

    As far as Nelson is concerned this fight is Brook’s to lose.

    “An on-form Kell Brook should walk through him. But if he’s not on form, he has no fear, he has an inch of complacency, Frankie Gavin makes it a close night for Kell.”

    It goes without saying that Saturday night is a hugely significant event for both participants. For the champion Brook, it is an opportunity to confirm his dominance by taking care of a credible domestic rival in impressive fashion. He may face Amir Khan afterwards, but whatever happens, he will be in prime position to push on and start racking up some internationally known names on his resume.

    For the challenger Gavin, it is a chance to give credence to a widely held belief that his huge success as an amateur can successfully translate into world honours. He said himself in the final pre-fight press conference that this time last year a title shot seemed like a long-shot. Now circumstance has granted him his wish, so he must take it with both hands.