Just days after vacating his British lightweight belt and setting his sights on fighting for a world title, Gavin Gwynne has been handed the perfect opportunity to push his claims. The Welshman has been given a prime spot of the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s fight with Francis Ngannou in Saudi Arabia on March 8th. He will defend his European title against dangerous puncher, Mark Chamberlain.
Gwynne – who beat veteran Italian Emiliano Marsili for the European title in December – was set on leaving the domestic scene behind but if the purse and platform weren’t big enough enticements to take on his heavy-handed British rival, the fact that the undefeated 25-year-old has made three defenses of his IBF European title also sweetened the pot.
Beating Chamberlain (14-0, 10 KO’s) would likely see Gwynne enter that governing body’s rankings.
“They are a lot lower than me. I’ve boxed British level fighters for the past three or four years and come through it with flying colors,” Gwynne, 33, told BoxingScene. “I know Marsili was knocking on but he was still 42-0. I want to push on now. I’ve won the Welsh, the Commonwealth, the British and the European titles. All the major belts. The only one that’s missing is the world title. I want to complete the collection.
“I honestly believe that it’s harder to win the British title than it is to win a European title or a final eliminator because of the level of opposition we’ve got in Britain. If you can win a British title, you’ve not far off world level. To this day, when I won that it was the biggest achievement I’ve had.”
Gwynne is acutely aware he will have to navigate some dangerous waters if he is to get a title shot. The lightweight division is home to some of boxing’s most high profile and talented fighters. Shakur Stevenson is the WBC champion and Gervonta Davis holds the WBA title. The vacant IBF title will be contested between Vasyl Lomachenko and George Kambosos in May whilst the WBO title is currently vacant. Gwynne isn’t the type to dodge and maneuver his way to a title shot but is equally aware that he is unlikely to be handed a shot. He knows that his first task is to insert himself into the mix.
“I think Marsili was the fifth unbeaten fighter I’ve boxed. The fighters I’ve beaten have all been quite high class anyway but having an international title should take me up into the top ten in one of the governing bodies,” he said.
“I’m a different breed. I’m sparring with middleweights and pushing them back. If I can do that then I can give any top lightweight in the world a hard and a good fight and unless it’s against one of these elite, elite fighters, I genuinely believe I can win a world title.
“I don’t really care who I fight. My manager, Lee Eaton, rang me and I told him that he knows me, I’m not going to say ‘no’ to anyone. If he picks the best fight to get me to a world title, I’ll turn up on the night. I don’t even need to know who I’m fighting, I’d just turn up and fight. Lee says I’m one of the easiest fighters to work with.”
Listening to Gwynne reel off the names of the men he now sees as his targets gives an indication of the scale of the task he faces but the Welshman relishes a challenge. He now faces the biggest one of his career.
“I’d say Shakur Stevenson is probably the best because of the level he’s boxed at. George Kambosos shouldn’t be a world champion, Maxi Hughes should be. Maxi beat him. Shakur, Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, Kambosos and Maxi are at the top and Andy Cruz is gonna be up there with them too.”