Kell Brook vs Frankie Gavin Prediction
The weigh-in is over, we’re all set now. Boxing NAV’s Gavan Casey breaks down Kell Brook vs Frankie Gavin and gives his prediction ahead of the IBF welterweight world title fight.
I’ve tried and tried to look for an angle; an aspect of this fight which would make it slightly more intriguing than meets the eye. I don’t think it can be done. Make no mistake about it, we’ve seen worse title defences, and certainly less enticing Sky PPV events, but there’s a reason why Kell Brook’s IBF welterweight title clash with former amateur world champion Frankie Gavin is being propped up by two world title bouts and Anthony Joshua’s faux ‘first test’ as a professional.
The perception of Frankie Gavin as a standout amateur waiting to come good at professional level has become tiresome. The bottom line is, the amateur stars don’t always align with the pro game- just ask Audley Harrison.
The stylish Brummie once displayed head movement and footwork that, for the first half of his professional career, looked other-worldly; the thing is, the very concept of defensive evasion in boxing is rather subjective. Dodging or blocking punches at amateur level where Gavin attained his deservedly lofty position in the regard of British and Irish fight fans was, in Gavin’s days, almost tangibly rewarded; if his opponents didn’t land cleanly, they weren’t scoring points, and therefore he was considered a defensive genius.
In in the pro ranks, the paradigm of defensive pugilism changes; moving backwards and being hit less is still obviously beneficial; Floyd Mayweather has made upwards of $500m from this very approach. But a professional boxer’s response to oncoming pressure must be sufficient in persuading his foe to think twice before launching the next assault. Mayweather hits sharply enough to keep Manny Pacquiao or Canelo Alvarez at bay. Frankie Gavin, at welterweight in particular, does not.
His defeat to Leonard Bundu was close, and perhaps even slightly controversial. But it was an exposure of Gavin’s inability thus far to apply his world championship-winning amateur skills to the pro game.
Gavin’s grit and determination are unquestionable, as his talent. The problem for the Brummie is that, at this level, offensive pressure – even if inaccurate – is rewarded, and his defensive skills are not, unless he counters with sufficient fire. It’s hard to envisage a scenario where he can do so against a champion of Kell Brook’s ilk; iron-chinned, highly-skilled and relentless, Brook will begin to walk through what Gavin throws back at him, the force of his shots powerful enough to breach the challenger’s guard and do damage. Not all of Brook’s calculated assaults will land as flush as they did on Jo Jo Dan, but enough will.
There is an argument to be made that, aside from Shawn Porter, both men’s back catalogue of opponents aren’t worlds apart. In terms of calibre it’s true, but the difference between both is found in spades when you examine the results. Kell Brook has carried stoppage victories all the way up to world level. Frankie Gavin had hell-for-leather wars at the high end of the British domestic scene, and was edged by Bundu while attempting to defend his European crown.
As one of the most likeable characters in the sport, Frankie Gavin is a class act both inside and outside the ring. But at 29 years of age, unless he becomes a world class fighter overnight, he won’t be in his opponent’s class in London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night.
I’m sure you’ve probably guessed by now.
However, this could still be an exciting all-England world title scrap for six or seven rounds; Frankie Gavin’s outstanding character will at least ensure that, even if under pressure early, he won’t go down without a fight.
Gavin certainly possesses the hand speed and crisp jab to make it at the very least an awkward night for his Sheffield opponent. But there remains a sense that, given the disparity in punch power between the two, there will be more ways for Kell Brook to win this fight than can be said for his opponent.
Gavin’s attempt to avoid Brook’s snapping jab in the opening rounds may prove fruitful if he can respond in kind, but ‘The Special One’ will begin to close in from round 4 or 5, and ultimately beat a undersized, overmatched Gavin into submission. The referee will step in and Kell Brook will retain the IBF World title.
Official prediction: Kell Brook TKO8
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