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Page last updated at 15:28 GMT, Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Gavin cannot wait for pro debut

I'll be world champion - Gavin

By Dan Wheeler - BBC WM

Birmingham's Frankie Gavin says he cannot wait to step into the ring in front of his home crowd for his first professional fight on Saturday.

Gavin, 23, takes on George Kadaria of Georgia at the National Indoor Arena on a bill including Britain's Olympians Billy Joe Saunders and James DeGale.

"I just can't wait to get in there now. It's brilliant that it's my pro debut in Birmingham," Gavin told BBC WM.

"Training's been brilliant and there's been a lot more publicity for it."

Gavin enjoyed a glittering amateur career, winning the Commonwealth Gold medal in Melbourne in 2006 before becoming Britain's first-ever amateur world champion a year later in Chicago.

"That title means a lot, world number one, no one's ever done it before. It's good but it's just a stepping stone - I want a professional world title," Gavin said.

Gavin's success made him one of the favourites for gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. But his hopes were dashed after he failed to make the weight in his lightweight division and was sent home.

Despite that disappointment, Gavin does not think there is any extra pressure to prove himself when he meets Kadaria at his new weight, light welter.

"I've got nothing to prove," he said. "I haven't been beaten for three years and I don't know any other amateurs from Britain who've done that.

"I'm going to go out and put him in his place straight away."

Gavin is joined on the bill at the NIA by fellow Brummie Don Broadhurst who defends his Commonwealth super-flyweight title against Isaac Owusu of Ghana.

Don Broadhurst (left)
Don Broadhurst beat Isaac Quaye to take the Commonwealth title in 2008

Like Gavin, Broadhurst also struck gold in Melbourne three years ago. But he turned professional afterwards and has since made rapid progress, winning his first major title in only his ninth fight when he claimed the Commonwealth belt in October 2008.

"I'm a hungry fighter and there's no way he's going to take my title away from me," Broadhurst told BBC WM.

Trained by former world super-middleweight champion Richie Woodhall, Broadhurst is brimming with self-belief.

"Training so hard and having someone like Richie helping with all the sparring and technical and tactical things, it gives me confidence in myself. Everything's going well and I'm happy," he added.

"I've prepared for a hard 12-rounder and I expect him to be tough and I'm sure he really wants the title.

"He's had 13 fights, won 11, drew one lost one. It shows I'm not fighting mugs or journeymen."

A number of other local fighters make up the bill in Birmingham on Saturday night.

Dudley's Darren McDermott fights Steve Bendell for the English middleweight title in his first bout since losing to British champion Wayne Elcock in June 2008.

Walsall super-featherweight Steve Gethin is also in action along with unbeaten Chelmsley Wood middleweight Thomas Costello.

see also
Medal hope Gavin out of Olympics
07 Aug 08 |  Boxing
Gavin tipped to follow king Khan
26 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Broadhurst to turn professional
18 Jul 06 |  Boxing
British boxers strike golden form
25 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games

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