Bundu beats Frankie Gavin
European welterweight champion Leonard Bundu (31-0-2, 11 KOs) retained his title with a split decision over British contender Frankie Gavin (19-1, 12 KOs) on Friday night at the Civic Hall in Wolverhampton.
Southpaw Gavin, the only Briton to ever win a world amateur title, was making the step up having already established himself as the British and Commonwealth champion and, in truth, had his long-term sights set on world honours.
However, the Birmingham fighter, despite the support of a partisan home crowd, clearly lost the first three rounds as the 39-year-old Bundu landed the more effective shots.
Gavin, 28, boxed well In rounds 4 and 5 when he utilised his jab adequately, but again was unable to prevent Bundu cutting off the ring.
In the 6th, Bundu, born in Sierra Leone but based in Italy, came off his stool with fearsome urgency which paid dividends late in the round when a crushing right to the body saw Gavin crumple to the canvas. He dug deep, however, to rise with the count at nine and see the bell.
Bundu stepped up his attacks with the end looking imminent but again a defiant Gavin survived. He may have even won the last three rounds but scores of 114-113 by two judges, against 117-115 to Gavin ensured Bundu kept his crown and added Gavin's Commonwealth belt.
Also on the card, in a clash of unbeaten heavyweights, Lucas Browne (21-0, 18 KOs) scored a 12 round unanimous decision over Andriy Rudenko (24-1, 16 KOs).
It was a very close fight with Rudenko the busier fighter and Browne landing the heavier shots. Browne, who was cut over both eyes by accidental head clashes, won by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 117-112.