No Fun for Frankie

Brummie boxer Frankie Gavin dramatically pulls out of his proposed fight.

Frankie Gavin

Frankie Gavin

The career of one of Britain’s brightest boxing hopes hangs in the balance after local hero Frankie Gavin pulled out of his title fight against Frenchman Frank Haroce Horta, due to take place in Manchester this evening.

Gavin, who became Britain’s first-ever world amateur champion at the sport when winning the lightweight title in 2007, walked out of his training camp yesterday prior to defending the WBO intercontinental welterweight crown, which has now been declared vacant. Reacting angrily to the news, promoter Frank Warren said, ”He’s walked out. I’m sick and tired of it.” The reason for Gavin’s withdrawal is unknown, although Boxing News editor Tris Dixon has said Gavin has “exceptional personal issues.”  Boxing pundit Steve Bunce, writing on the forum, hinted last night that an incident which took place on Wednesday evening led to the development.

This is the latest setback for Gavin, who was famously unable to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics after failing to make the light-welterweight limit and has seen his professional career dogged by rumours of lifestyle issues. The Hall Green-born fighter changed trainers in July, joining the Jimmy Tibbs camp in London. At the time Gavin said that moving from his original trainer Anthony Farnell was essential to improve his career, but is now reported to have left Tibbs and returned to Farnell’s home in Manchester.

Gavin had been criticised for his lacklustre performances in recent fights, despite beating West Bromwich boxer Young Mutley in May to win the WBO belt he has now been forced to give up. Frankie was the brightest prospect Midlands boxing has seen for many years and reckoned to be a world champion in the making, having won all 11 of his fights since turning pro. Whether he can ever fulfil his amateur promise now remains to be seen.