Gavin Gwynne crowned Welsh champion after war with Henry Janes

Gavin Gwynne crowned Welsh champion after war with Henry Janes

By Dewi Powell: Trelewis’ Gavin Gwynne (8-0, 1KO) was crowned the new Welsh lightweight champion after a thrilling 99-93 decision win against Cardiff’s gutsy Henry Janes (10-22-2, 1KO).

The bruising 10 rounder entertained a packed Rhydycar Leisure Centre in Merthyr Tydfil and was broadcast on delay by terrestrial platform S4C.

Gwynne, a former Welsh senior amateur champion, has looked to use his longer reach and height over most lightweights since linking up with Tony Borg. However, the 27-year-old member of St Joseph’s Boxing Club was a tad too eager in the opening few seconds, taking a clumsy tumble – an incident referee Martin Williams correctly ruled wasn’t a knockdown.

Since returning to the sport after a six year absence, Janes has ripped up the script and turned it around from being a journeyman to Welsh title contender. The veteran was happy to mix it up close and the pair met head on in the opener to please those supporting the Sanigar Events #UpForGrabs show.

The belt has been vacant since Craig Woodruff stopped Tony Pace in 2013. Both of the latest challengers were scheduled to go further than they’d ever been before, though felt no need to pace their work.

It led to thumping exchanges in the second and third rounds with each taking their turn to unload. However, Gwynne’s shots were slightly easier to spot amidst the frenzied exchanges.

Gavin Gwynne

Gwynne picked up a cut under his right eye in the fourth round and referee Martin Williams ruled that it was caused by a punch. Janes was encouraged by the sight of claret and tried to take advantage of it at the end of the session.

That eagerness was short lived and Gwynne responded well in the fifth. It was the clearest round yet as Janes appeared to take a break, allowing Gwynne’s higher output to stand out to observers. The Valley native bossed that round and was evidently the happier at the halfway stage.

Janes attempted to switch tactics, retreating before launching single shots over the top but Gwynne wasn’t biting the bait. Instead, Gwynne established his jab and pinned Janes on to the back foot, unable to regain a foothold. It was a pattern that persisted in the middle rounds and Janes struggled to reverse.

Henry Janes

The pace finally slowed in the seventh and eighth rounds. By this point, Gwynne began to pay particular attention to Janes’ body. The Cardiff man sucked them up and showed no sigh of wilting, smartly smothering Gwynne’s work in response.

Referee Martin Williams deducted a point from Gwynne in the ninth round, judging him to have used an elbow. It looked an innocent attempt to make space, rather than to strike a blow but he had warned of the offence twice before.

The final round was a punishing one as both attempted their last stand and it was fought in the exact same fashion as the opener.

Image by Huw Fairclough.

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