FRANKIE GAVIN had just started secondary school when Junior Witter became a professional boxer.
Fast forward 15 years and the two collide tomorrow to dispute the British welterweight title.
It would be hard to find a fight that involves a pair from such different backgrounds.
Gavin, who has just turned 27, won a gold medal at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships to become England’s first ever World Amateur champion.
He comes with a big reputation, based mainly on potential.
His pedigree isn’t likely to faze Witter, 38. The Ingle figher has seen it, done it and won the T-shirt.
In the same year that Gavin won gold, Witter won green...becoming the WBC light welterweight champion of the world.
Witter’s tenure as WBC king ended at the hands of Timothy Bradley in 2008 and his profile has been on the slide since then.
But Witter remains very difficult to beat, has power, unpredictablility and that vast experience founded on a career which began back in 1997.
And he showed he still has a hunger for the sport when he beat Colin Lynes for the British title in May. Tomorrow he and Gavin duel at York Hall, Bethnal Green.
It will be Witter’s 49th pro fight - Gavin’s 14th. And I feel confident the Sheffield man will prevail.
Gavin beat former Sheffield United footballer turned boxer Curtis Woodhouse in July.
Although Woodhouse believes he deserved to win that split decision contest, the ex-Blade won’t be drawn on who he thinks will win this bout.“It is a real 50-50 fight, this one,” he said.
“Junior has talent to burn. He has been at the top level. And he can really punch. If he hits Gavin clean, he will have him in serious trouble.
“A Junior in his prime would have too much for Frankie. But time waits for no man and I can see why people are backing the younger boxer.
“Frankie is fast and skilful. It is just too close for me to call. But I do believe that it won’t be a classic to watch though,” added the English light welterweight champion and current manager of Sheffield FC.
“They are both southpaw counter punchers and will be waiting for the other to make the first move.”