Charismatic American Jason Gavern returned to the UK this week in preparation for what will be his 50th professional fight on the high-profile ‘Geordie Roar’ card promoted by Matchroom Boxing.
The night is not only significant for the 37 year-old becoming the 11th opponent of Olympic champion Anthony Joshua, but for the small matter of Gavern reaching his milestone half century on what happens to be his 19th wedding anniversary.
Gavern is an overwhelming underdog to pull off a shock in Newcastle, although ‘The Sensation’ is more interested in giving a good account of himself in front of the British fans after they took him to their hearts during his Prizefighter run back in 2013.
“I have fought all over the world and this being my 50th pro fight couldn’t happen in a better place than the UK,” Gavern told World BoxingNews.
“When I fought here for Prizefighter it was an electric night. The fans, the crowd were awesome. After I got home, my social media (Twitter: @JasonGavern and Facebook) blew up from fans saying how much they loved Prizefighter. Even though I didn’t win, the support was absolutely amazing and I love fighting here in the UK.
“The fight with Anthony Joshua only just happened on Friday,” he explained. “I’ve known Eddie Hearn from my previous fights in the UK and he messaged me and asked if I was interested in the fight. Boxing is about opportunity and this is a big one – so I took the fight.”
The wily veteran has enjoyed training sessions with Joshua in the past so knows all about what he can expect on Saturday night when he goes up against the 100% knockout artist who has never been past three rounds in the paid ranks.
“I am I fighter, but I am also a big boxing fan. I follow the who’s who in the sport so I’ve known about Anthony just from being a fan. The first time that I actually met him and seen him fight was the night of Prizefighter when he fought on the card. I was also here sparring him last year so we know each other from that.”
On his chances of causing an upset, Gavern stated: “I am confident in my skill, my ability and my experience, but I can’t predict what will happen fight night. This is the heavyweight division. Anything can happen, but all of those things that I possess will definitely come in very handy with a guy like Anthony Joshua.”
Considering Gavern only stumbled into boxing at 22 years of age, 26 wins, four draws and 19 losses have been a rollercoaster ride for the Virginia man who once again laces up the gloves for what he expects to be an emotional landmark in his life.
“I was a police officer in Pennsylvania for 7 years. While working I just picked up boxing to have something extra on the street. I never planned this out of being where I am now in my career.
“I would have never thought ever that boxing would have given me the opportunity to quit the Police department, move my family from Pennsylvania to sunny Florida and allow me to live my dream out of being a true professional fighter.
“It has been a long and crazy road up to this point as I have met, trained with and fought boxing royalty. I never would have said 15 years ago when I became a professional that I would have had 50 fights. I am truly blessed beyond words to have had this journey.
“And not only is April 4 my 50th pro fight, but it is also my 19-year wedding anniversary. I don’t know what has been harder, my boxing career or my marriage, but one thing that has always been my rock in my career is my wife. We are a team and without her I couldn’t do what I do.
“My trainer Walter Collazo has been with me now for 7 years. I have put him through so much crap and he had stuck by my side no matter what. Minus boxing he is my brother and we into everything as a team,” added Gavern.