Backroom shake-up for Frankie Gavin

Frank Gavin 1
Following his unsuccessful challenge against IBF welterweight champion Kell Brook on 30 May, Birmingham Irish boxer Frankie Gavin (22-2, 13 KO’s) has wasted no time by revamping his team and moving down in weight in an attempt to gain world honours.

McCracken new trainer The first major decision by Gavin has been the replacement of his long-term trainer Thomas Chaney with Max McCracken – another well-respected mentor from his hometown. Also, it is Gavin’s intention to slim down to compete under the light-welterweight limit of 140 lbs. and has acquired the supplementary services of the “No Limits Crew”, who are known for their work with Paul Butler.

He has been lucky to have another quality trainer so close to home but says he would have made the sacrifice and uprooted himself if that were necessary.

“I didn’t want to leave Birmingham and my family but I would have if there was no one good enough locally,” said Gavin.

Fortunately for Gavin, none of that will be necessary and he will join two more Birmingham hotshots in Kal and Gamal Yafai under McCracken’s tutelage, both of whom remain undefeated as pros following stellar stints on the GB amateur squad.

Speaking about his change in trainer, Gavin said: “I have already had my first session with Max, although, like Des, I’ve known him for years, and I really enjoyed it. I know what I need to improve on but he was showing me a few extra things too. Kal and Gamal have both improved loads under Max. He’ll bring the best out of me.”

Far from just spouting the usual rhetoric that often accompanies a change like this, Gavin went a step further in identifying the specific flaws he intends to eradicate. His assessment was an honest one.

Punching with more authority “I’m adamant to this day that I can outbox nine out of 10 fighters at my weight, but I need to throw more, improve my inside work and punch with more authority.”

Gavin is finally addressing some of the key issues that have been holding him back. Nobody can diminish his talent when witnessing him boxing at range, slipping shots and countering with the left hand; mastering a game of inches that his opponents cannot even comprehend.

But in his two losing efforts against Leonard Bundu and Kell Brook, it was evident how superior physicality and a willingness to get close can ruffle the feathers of the UK’s first ever world amateur champion. At light-welterweight, Gavin will no longer begin every fight at a size deficit. The addition of a nasty inside game will also dishearten those who look to replicate the blueprint Bundu and Brook have laid down. And hopefully Gavin’s backroom changes will go a long way to solving these current problems with his style.

At twenty-nine years of age and a thankfully with a small amount of miles on the clock, there is still plenty of time for ‘Funtime’ Frankie Gavin to fulfill his undoubted potential in the pro ranks that his amateur career seemed to guarantee.