JASON Welborn says defeat to Frankie Gavin has only made him stronger.

The Rowley Regis welterweight’s bid to wrest the British title from the Brummie fighter’s grasp ended in a seventh round stoppage at a packed-out Walsall Town Hall last Friday.

But Welborn, who later revealed he had been struggling with an ear infection in the weeks before the fight, is already planning his next move with a possible attempt at the English title being mooted for later in the year.

He said: “I’m confident my time will come again.

“Getting in the ring with someone as skillful as Frankie Gavin will only do me good.

“I’m disappointed but I’ve learned an awful lot from it and I’ll come back a better boxer.

“Hopefully, I’ll get a chance at the English title soon and then I’ll go for the British again. As far as I’m concerned I’m at that level now.

“I don’t want to take any steps back, the only way is up.”

Some bookmakers had Gavin priced as low as 1-50 to retain the crown he won from Junior Witter back in November.

Ultimately, they were proved correct but Welborn should not feel too disheartened, after a spirited display against a fighter who should eventually challenge for world honours.

On a couple of occasions during a frenetic opening round, Welborn appeared to have the champion rattled when fighting at close quarters.

The more Welborn tried to catch his opponent, the more visibly frustrated he became as shot after shot fell short, with Gavin able to capitalise on the counter.

By round seven, Welborn looked tired and a series of shots to the body saw him take a knee and an eight count.

Ruthless Gavin sensed victory was near and immediately pounced from the restart. Welborn was able to survive an assault on the ropes but a second proved too much and prompted referee Ian John-Lewis to step in.

Welborn said he had been on antibiotics to deal with an infection in his left ear and felt this affected his performance.

He said: “It’s frustrating because I know I could have put a lot more into it — I was only fighting at around 60 per cent.

“We knew beforehand he was a much better boxer than me.

“The gameplan was to catch him early doors so for seven rounds I was throwing power shots but he was able to evade them.”