Dave Oakes recaps Saturday's York Hall show.
Frankie Gavin was in outstanding form on Saturday night, stopping late substitute Michael Lomax in the seventh round of a one-sided fight. Gavin, one of the hottest prospects in world boxing, was in imperious form, controlling the fight from start to finish.
The York Hall card was originally due to be headlined by Tony Bellew until a hand injury picked up in training ruled him out. His gym mate Gavin stepped in to the headline slot and promptly enhanced his chances of a domestic title fight before the years end.
Lomax is liked and respected on these shores, he isn’t top class but he’s a fighter who‘s always in shape and comes to win. It was a step-up in class for Gavin and he responded magnificently.
Despite being the naturally bigger man, it was Lomax who had to give ground throughout as Gavin went through his full attacking repertoire with a controlled aggression that belies his inexperience.
The first four rounds saw Gavin picking his shots well; he was beating Lomax to the jab and catching him with well timed hooks to head and body. Gavin occasionally switched from southpaw to orthodox, looking equally adept in both stances.
It was noticeable that Gavin was gradually increasing the tempo as the rounds wore on, by the sixth he was really sitting down on his punches, clearly looking to get the stoppage.
The stoppage wasn’t long in coming; an accurate left hook shook Lomax to his boots early in the seventh. Gavin continued hammering away with more heavy blows until Lomax’s corner threw in the towel later in the round – a sensible and compassionate decision.
The victory moves Gavin closer to a shot at either the British title held by Ashley Theophane or the vacant Commonwealth title. He’s due to fight on the undercard of Juergen Braehmer v Nathan Cleverly in early April with numerous opponents being rumoured. Hopefully it will be another small step-up in class - he’s more than ready for it.
Big John McDermott got back into title contention after demolishing Larry Olubamiwo in 75 seconds. Olubamiwo was stunned by the first meaningful punch that landed – a solid left hook. McDermott jumped on his unsteady opponent and blasted him to the floor with a straight right.
A visibly shaky Olubamiwo did well to get to his feet; he wasn’t upright for long though, another clubbing right by McDermott sent him collapsing to the canvas again. That was enough for the referee to wave the fight off.
McDermott is chasing another shot at the British title, unquestionably hoping it will be fourth time lucky for him.
Ronnie Heffron extended his unbeaten record to 5-0 but was made to work hard over four rounds for the victory. The welterweight prospect was a touch overenthusiastic on his first live television appearance, electing to stand and trade with the vastly more experienced Kevin McCauley when he would’ve been better suited using his skills more.
Heffron won comfortably enough on points (40-37) but clearly needs time to learn his trade and develop into a more rounded boxer. He looks an exciting and promising prospect and at the age of 20 is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Bradley Skeete, another young welterweight prospect, claimed the second win of his fledgling career, twice dropping Johnny Greaves on the way to a fourth round stoppage. Skeete moves to 2-0.
Ahmet Patterson, yet another welterweight prospect, also moved to 2-0 after battering Wayne Downing to submission in the first round of a scheduled four. Patterson showed impressive handspeed as he outgunned Downing to force the referee’s intervention barely a minute into the fight.