Former world amateur champion Frankie Gavin has backed
London 2012 gold medallist Anthony Joshua to make history
by turning down lucrative offers to turn professional and
instead retain his Olympic boxing crown in 2016.
Joshua shot to fame earlier this month by winning gold at
his home Games to join an elite group of fighters.
Speculation immediately started over whether Joshua, 22,
would be tempted into switching to the professional game
and cashing in on his amateur glory.
However, the Watford man has insisted he is young enough to
remain a part of the Team GB set-up and has set his sights
on winning gold again in Rio de Janeiro. Gavin said:
"He's only a baby. Why doesn't he go to the
next Olympics? He's going to earn a lot of money
through sponsorship, TV deals and the BABA."
He added: He's proved himself now by winning a world
silver medal and an Olympic gold, so he's on the best
"From watching those Olympics, there's only the
Cuban, Erislandy Savon (who can possibly threaten him).
Roberto Cammarelle, who he beat in the final, will go
professional now or retire and we don't know what Savon
will do. Maybe he'll defect from Cuba and try to go
"There's no-one else who is going to touch him so,
for four years' time, it's worth a go. There's
no-one in England coming up to take his spot."
Gavin admits Joshua's legacy is secure whatever happens
- but hopes he enhances his accomplishments by becoming the
first Briton to do it twice.
"He's a legend in his own right now for winning
one, but winning two is really special," said the
unbeaten Birmingham fighter (13-0, 10KOs). "Just going
to two Olympics is special, so winning two, or even getting
medals at two, is great. So winning two golds has got to
put you up there as a legend."
Gavin, meanwhile, has other things on his mind as he
prepares for a probable British welterweight title
challenge against Junior Witter. The British Boxing Board
of Control have installed him as their mandatory challenger
and the 26-year-old hopes to fight the veteran in November
after a warm-up bout in October.
"I wanted to be in this position 18 months ago,"
said Gavin, who endured personal problems outside the ring
last year before settling down in his native Birmingham.
"Good things come to those who wait and I've had
to wait. I haven't been beaten, I've got a good
record and I'm really thriving at the moment. I want to
beat Witter, defend the title three times so I can win the
belt outright and then get the European title too."