Hot Prospects DeGale, Gavin and Saunders All Win Inside The Distance

16.05.09 - by James Slater - Last night, on the under-card of the exciting heavyweight clash between Sam Sexton and Martin Rogan in Belfast, three unbeaten prospects remained unbeaten as they all made it to 2-0 in the pro ranks. Showcasing two 2008 Olympians - one of them a gold medallist - as well as a world amateur champion, promoter Frank Warren made sure the fans in attendance at The Odyssey Arena had a good night of boxing for their money. First up was the youngest of the three potential stars (all of whom are southpaws), in 19-year-old middleweight Billy Joe Saunders. Going up against 24-year-old Ronny Gabel of Germany, Saunders did dome superb work to the body with his blurring hands.

James DeGaleStarting out fast in the opener, the 19-year-old Olympian gave Gabel's midsection a real working over. Looking classy, Saunders had everything his own way in the first three minutes and the visiting fighter did well to get through the round.

The end came in the 2nd, as Saunders continued to blast Gabel to both body and head. Totally overwhelming the older man, Saunders gave referee Terry O'Connor no choice but to dive in and halt the one-sided affair. The time was 1 minute and 16-seconds of the round, and Saunders improved to 2-0(2). Gabel fell to 2-2(2).

Next out was world amateur champion Frankie Gavin, boxing as a light-welterweight. The 23-year-old met Frenchman Mourad Frarema and he too got the job done with some ease.
Holding his hands noticeably low, the 24-year-old from France proved to be a tricky mover in there. Taking his time, Gavin jabbed well with his right hand and boxed patiently. Clearly winning the first two rounds, Gavin had to chase the rabbit-like non-puncher to do so. Switching his attack to the body in the 2nd, Gavin also scored with a nice left hand to the head.

Throwing more in the 3rd, Frarema seemed to be warming into the fight a touch - until a right uppercut to the chin hurt him. Stuck on the ropes and under fire, Frarema took a left uppercut to the head and a number of follow-up shots. Referee Mark Green had seen enough and he dived in just as the bell rang to end the round. The official time was 2 minutes and 59-seconds of the 3rd, and Frarema complained a little at the stoppage. Gavin improved to 2-0(2), Frarema fell to 2-4(0).

Finally, Beijing gold medallist at middleweight, James DeGale put on a show. Potentially having the toughest fight of the three up-and-comers, the 23-year-old met unbeaten Czech Jindrich Kubin - 5-0(3) coming in. However, wanting to silence the doubters who booed his pro debut, "Chunky" put on a short and sweet display.

Coming out fast, DeGale decked the 30-year-old with a right hand to the head after just 22-seconds had elapsed. The visiting fighter tried to fight back, but he was soon hurt by another big right. Then, in switching to the orthodox stance, DeGale fired out and landed three more rights to the head, blasting Kubin's upper body through the ropes. Seeing enough, referee Victor Loughlin stopped the bout at 2 minutes and 22-seconds of the opening round. DeGale is now 2-0(1) as a pro.

All in all it was a good night for the three talented operators, even though some clear booing could be heard at times - especially when DeGale fought. Heaven knows why, because all three men looked good last night.

Article posted on 16.05.2009

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