Tag Archives: punching

Frankie Gavin takes Junior Witter"s British welterweight title after unanimous points decision

The future's bright for Gavin after beating Witter to claim British welterweight title

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 2 November 2012

Frankie Gavin suggested he may yet realise his undoubted potential by dethroning veteran champion Junior Witter to claim the British welterweight title at York Hall.

The 27-year-old had not fought since May and had mustered just 13 bouts since turning professional over four years ago but proved too strong for Witter who suffered his sixth career defeat in a dull affair.

Gavin, who remains Britain's only world amateur champion, extended his unbeaten record at the iconic London venue and will have his sights set on bigger prizes in 2013.

Celebrate good times: Frankie Gavin is hoisted off the canvas after beating Junior Witter by a unanimous points decision

Celebrate good times: Frankie Gavin is hoisted off the canvas after beating Junior Witter by a unanimous points decision

Witter, 38, won a world title six years ago and claimed the British belt for a second time earlier this year but despite starting brightly, quickly ran out of ideas and was outpointed by margins of 119-109, 117-110 and 117-112.

A tense and cagey opening round was shaded by Witter who produced the cleaner blows while an accidental clash of heads left Gavin with a small cut on the bridge of his nose.

The Birmingham man's face continued to mark up in the second as Witter, a product of the same Wincobank Gym as fellow welterweight Kell Brook, used his right hand to good effect.

Deploying his tried and tested switch-hitting style, Witter banked another round as he continued to control the fight and prevent Gavin from letting his hands go, as highlighted by the younger man's corner.

Breaking out in a sweat: Gavin connects with a savage left jab

Breaking out in a sweat: Gavin connects with a savage left jab

The fourth session was something of a non event with neither man boxing on the front foot but Gavin delivered a timely reminder of his punching power in the next with two solid lefts over the top and although Witter returned the favour later in the round, he conceded his first of the night.

And Gavin, the won gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, continued to work his way back into the contest as it reached the halfway stage while Witter fell to the canvas when attempting a rather wild shot.

The bout may have been entering the second half but neither man looked keen to grab it by the scruff of the neck although Gavin looked to have the momentum. He was however warned for hitting the back of the head, something not helped by Witter's tendency to turn away from his opponent.

Gavin was growing in confidence as he took the fight to his opponent and Witter's reluctance to engage provoked his trainer Dominic Ingle to read the riot act at the end of the eighth round.

On the front foot: Witter feels the force of a Gavin attack

On the front foot: Witter feels the force of a Gavin attack

But the champion failed to land a noteworthy punch in the next as the fight slipped away from him and although Gavin was far from fluent, he was doing enough to edge the rounds and increase his narrow advantage.

Witter's efforts to haul himself back into the contest resulted only in him pushing Gavin through the ropes in the tenth stanza and the messy exchanges continued until the former was deducted a point for continued holding which all but ended his brief second reign as domestic No 1.

Witter by now required a knockout to retain his title and he looked for such a punch in the penultimate session but succeeded only in falling significantly short.

The punch never came and Gavin safely saw out the final three minutes to confirm his superiority on all three scorecards.

Getting in a tangle: Gavin gets caught up in the ropes after stumbling

Getting in a tangle: Gavin gets caught up in the ropes after stumbling

Ricky Burns impressive against Kevin Mitchell

Belting night for red-hot Burns as Scot produces fireworks against Mitchell

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UPDATED:

22:25 GMT, 23 September 2012

In the wee dark hours after Kevin Mitchell congratulated Ricky Burns on belting the living daylights out of him some of their respective fans laid into each other at a hotel near the arena.

They do love a good fight in Glasgow but no brawl in a bar could possibly match the class with which Burns clobbered Mitchell on Saturday night.

This was the opportunity for Burns to claim a place in the pantheon of Scotland’s all-time boxing greats. So spectacularly did he seize the moment that he also stands now in the front rank of current world champions.

Friends: Ricky Burns is congratulated by his defeated opponent Kevin Mitchell.

Friends: Ricky Burns is congratulated by his defeated opponent Kevin Mitchell.

A fight for the WBO lightweight title which everyone, including the two friends in the ring, expected to be desperately close turned out to be just desperate for the challenger from East London.

Mitchell had the misfortune to bump into his old mate on the night when Burns made the step up from very good to great. He has also grown physically.

Burns, who won the first of his two world titles at super-featherweight, now looks big at lightweight. The extra bulk has brought with it the enhanced punching power which came as such a nasty surprise to Mitchell.

Bigger, faster, stronger: Scotsman Burns (right) dominated Mitchell in Glasgow

Bigger, faster, stronger: Scotsman Burns (right) dominated Mitchell in Glasgow

Burns was supposed to be the craftsman
and Mitchell the slugger in this clash of styles but the Scot relished
the toe-to-toe exchanges and proved to be the harder hitter.

A modest man, Burns still talks of having much to learn but he is nearer to being the complete box-fighter than he seems to realise.

The only question remaining to be asked after this blistering four-round stoppage of the most dangerous opponent he has faced is how long he will stay at lightweight.

There is money to be made from an all-Scottish clash with Scott Harrison but on this most recent evidence that fight would be over even quicker.

All over: The referee steps in

All over: The referee steps in

Harrison, in his second fight of a comeback after a near-seven year absence, looked nothing like the two-time world champion of yore as he toiled to a points win on the under-card.

Burns harbours a real boxing lover’s ambition to add the historic Ring magazine belt to his collection. But the sooner he unifies some of the titles at lightweight, the sooner he can move up to the big money fights at light-welter.

With dynamite now in both fists he will be a danger to anyone. Having shaken Mitchell with big rights while dominating the first three rounds, he floored him with a left in the fourth.

Mitchell got up only to be decked by a wicked right and although his courage enabled him to rise again he had no answer to the ensuing barrage and no argument with the stoppage.

‘My pal was awesome,’ said Mitchell as they left to go their separate ways, him back to the drawing board and an uncertain future, Burns to Las Vegas and the stars.

Ricky Burns says he can keep improving

I'll take on anybody! Red hot Burns believes he can keep improving

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UPDATED:

13:16 GMT, 23 September 2012

World champion Ricky Burns believes he can continue to improve after adding another dimension to his game with a stunning fourth-round stoppage of Kevin Mitchell.

The consensus in the boxing world was that the WBO lightweight title fight in Glasgow could go either way with Burns' staying power and tactical nous in contrast with Mitchell's punching power.

But Burns confounded expectations by going on the front foot early on and putting Mitchell under sustained pressure.

Pals: Ricky Burns (left) celebrates his victory over his friend Kevin Mitchell

Pals: Ricky Burns (left) celebrates his victory over his friend Kevin Mitchell

The pressure told in the fourth with Mitchell on the canvas twice before referee Terry O'Connor stopped the contest amid a barrage of punches.

Burns was fighting only his third contest since stepping up to lightweight but looked bigger, stronger and faster than Mitchell, who suffered the second defeat of his career.

The 29-year-old Scot once again saved his best for the big occasion, as he had done when winning his first world title against the otherwise unbeaten Roman Martinez, and when he outfought and out-thought Michael Katsidis to win his current belt.

After thrilling a capacity crowd at the SECC with his seventh world title fight victory, Burns said: 'The first round I was just trying to suss him out but I knew myself once I upped the pressure, I was just trying to smash them in. I have been feeling so much physically stronger and I think it showed. And I think there is more to come.'

Burns has been seeking a unification fight or a challenge for a Ring magazine title since his super-featherweight days but he will allow promoter Frank Warren the ultimate choice in his next defence.

Delight: Burns celebrates with his belt

Delight: Burns celebrates with his belt

Former world featherweight champion Scott Harrison, who won his second comeback fight on points on Saturday, is a possible opponent but perhaps not this year.

Burns said: 'I'm off to Vegas next week on holiday but my training stuff will be coming with me.

'Frank says I will be out on December 8 or 15 so I'll have a couple of weeks off and then get back in the gym.

'I'll fight whoever is put in front of me. They know the fights I want, I'd love to go after the Ring magazine and try to unify but I'll just take it a fight at a time.

'I know Scott is itching to get a world title fight. Obviously in Scotland it would be a massive fight. But we'll find out in a few weeks.'

Mitchell shares Burns' assertion that he will keep improving but the Dagenham boxer is still aiming to follow in his footsteps.

On the attack: Burns has Mitchell on the ropes

On the attack: Burns has Mitchell on the ropes

Mitchell felt his timing was out and vowed to return to the ring soon to sharpen up after his third fight in more than two years.

The 27-year-old said: 'Everyone underestimates him. I knew he was physically strong, a lot stronger than everyone thought.

'He can punch, as everyone saw. I didn't underestimate him.'

Mitchell added: 'It couldn't happen to a nicer guy, he is a good friend of mine.

'He could unify the weight division and perhaps step up another level.

'He is an awesome talent and is getting better and better and nothing can stop him but I'm going to be chasing after him.

'He did his job and he'll be going on to bigger and better things but I'll be chasing his tail.'

Mitchell vowed to stay strong mentally after losing his discipline before and after his other defeat, against Katsidis.

'I got a lot of depression after Katsidis,' he said. 'This is a learning curve, I need to get back in regularly.

'Ricky's been fighting for two or three years at world level.

'I could feel his strength after three rounds but I knew he would be just as strong if he had to fight 15 rounds.

'That's what I want to get and I need to get myself out there fighting.'

Ricky Burns beats Kevin Mitchell in Glasgow

Feel the Burns: Rampant Ricky blasts through Mitchell to win 'Battle of Britain' and retain world belt

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UPDATED:

23:23 GMT, 22 September 2012

Burns stunned Kevin Mitchell in front
of a raucous crowd in Glasgow to retain his world lightweight title in
breathtaking fashion.

The Scot, defending his WBO belt for
the second time, took the fight to his opponent from the first bell and
never relented in a staggering display.

Mitchell was floored twice in the
fourth round before yet another unanswered flurry of punches forced the
referee to call a halt to the bout.

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Impressive: Ricky Burns aims a punch at Kevin Mitchell during his convincing victory

Billed as a 'Battle of Britain', Burns turned the fight into a procession, beating the Englishman to the punch time and time again before pinning him to the ropes and unloading.

Controlling the fight with his jab and always looking to land the right to head and body, Burns edged the opening exchanges of the first round.

Mitchell looked to respond where he could but the bout burst into life when the pair went toe-to-toe with neither giving an inch.

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

Down and out: Ricky Burns knocks Kevin Mitchell down

The home favourite continued to dominate in the second stanza as the pace of the bout refused to relent.

Mitchell served the champion with some timely reminders of his punching power but it was he who was taking some hefty punishment.

Mitchell showed he was not fazed by the Scot's flying start in the third round when, pinned to the ropes, he beat his own chest in a mocking show of defiance.

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

Punishing: Ricky Burns goes on the attack

But if that was an indication that he was forcing his way into the contest, the sizeable English contingent in the crowd were silenced minutes later.

Burns' pressure fighting paid off as he floored Mitchell twice in quick succession and although he rose on both occassions, Burns' victory was inevitable and 10,000 fans rose as one to salute their hero.

Burns is set to defend his title again in December with countryman Scott Harrison a possible opponent.