UPDATE: Former world champion puts title shot on ice

Welterweight title contender Frankie Gavin works the pads at Dave earle's Spit N Sawdust gym NNL-181201-115322001
Welterweight title contender Frankie Gavin works the pads at Dave earle's Spit N Sawdust gym NNL-181201-115322001

Following a successful visit to Dave Earle’s Spit ‘n’ Sawdust gym in preparation for a shot at the IBO world welterweight title, former lightweight world amateur boxing champion Frankie Gavin, has postponed his world title fight.

The fighter and his trainer, Dean Edwards, were in Banbury last month promoting the Birmingham NEC fight during a short training session at the North Bar boxing gym.

Originally scheduled for February 23, Mr Gavin and his team announced at the weekend that the fight will now take place on Saturday, March 24 at the same venue following an ankle injury.

According to reports Mr Gavin injured the ligaments in his left ankle during a sparring session in a gym in Dublin which will require a week to ten days of rest before resuming his preparations.

The fight undercard will remain the same and tickets, available at Spit ‘n’ Sawdust, for the original date will be honoured.

Gavin, a world, Commonwealth and European gold medallist will take on Bethuel Ushona of Namibia.

During last month’s visit to Banbury the boxer was accompanied by Banbury-based promoter Kevin Baker and trainer Dean Edwards, one of the best cut and hand wrapping trainers in the country.

Before he sustained the injury I asked Mr Edwards whether, this close to such an important fight, travelling to unknown gyms to spar with unknown boxers could be seen as a distraction but Mr Edwards was confident of his fighter’s preparations.

Mr Edwards said: “We’ve still got seven weeks and it’s great to be able to come down and let the kids have a look at Frankie. We’ve already trained a couple of times today and this will be his evening session. It’s a good bit of publicity and it’s good for the kids.”

Mr Gavin comes into the fight with a two-fight winning run having last lost a bout to Sam Eggington in October 2016 .

On paper the Birmingham- based southpaw should be too strong for Ushona but he does present a few difficulties that Mr Gavin is working out.

Frankie said: “Preparations are going well. I think I’ll knock him out late on, definitely think I’ll beat him. It won’t be easy, he swings a lot.”

With just nine knockouts Ushona doesn’t seem like a fearsome puncher but his punches are hurtful, particularly his right hand.

Coach Edwards said: “He tries to walk you onto a big back hand, he’s a back foot boxer. He jabs, jabs and tries to catch you with a left hook and then walks you onto the big right hand.

He added: “He puts everything into that right hand when he throws it.”

Watching Dave put the boxer through a pad drill were many youngsters who train at the gym and dream of reaching the level Mr Gavin has achieved.

Tickets for the bout are £40 and can be bought from the Spit N Sawdust gym on Banbury’s North Bar Street.