THIS year has been one of the best of unbeaten St Joseph’s lightweight Gavin Gwynne’s life – his first child was born, he won all five of his fights, and last weekend he captured his maiden title in the professional ranks.

A points defeat of Cardiff’s Henry Janes at Merthyr Tydfil Leisure Centre, just up the road from his Treharris home, saw Gwynne become Welsh champion and keep up his perfect record in the paid code.

Gwynne got to savour the victory with some 40 family members who had bought ringside tickets, while the man himself was later able to tell six-month-old son Arlo all about his big night.

And while the Tony Borg-trained fighter is thrilled with the way 2017 has gone, he is hoping 2018 will be even better, with his sights set on bigger challenges and more silverware.

Reflecting on his eighth successive pro win, and looking ahead to next year, the 27-year-old said: “I’m over the moon.

“What a night and what a fight.

“I said it was going to be a barnstormer and it turned out to be one.

“The fans pay good money to come and watch a scrap and that’s what they got.

“It’s a great ending to the year for me.

“This is probably one of the best years of my life.

“My baby boy was born, I’ve had five fights and five wins, and I’ve won a title at the end of it.”

He continued: “Winning this belt can project me into the top 20 in the British rankings.

“Next year is going to be massive for me and a huge step up in my boxing career.

“Henry’s a tough guy and he took Joe Murray eight rounds, and I thought I did a better job than Joe, and he has been fighting at British and European level.

“I think that’s the standard I’m at and I want to push on for more titles and bigger fights.

“Maybe I can go for the Celtic title next and then towards the end of 2018 have a challenge or an eliminator for the British title.

“That’s where I want to be, up with those boys in the big fights.”