By Jake Donovan - There was a point in his career when Gavin Rees was done with boxing. By his own admission, he had already grown discouraged with the sport, failing to secure any meaningful fights at his natural fighting weight of 135 lb. before opting to chase a title one division north.
His July 2007 title win over Souleyman M’Baye went a long way towards satisfying one goal in his career. But it still wasn’t enough to make boxing his everything.
“I won the title and then lost it. I liked the party life. I didn’t like boxing at the time and didn’t train,” Rees (37-1-1, 18KO) recalls of his brief stay as champ before losing the belt to Andriy Kotelnik in March ‘08.
The title loss was reason enough to make a clean break from the sport. Not much was expected of his career, which meant he already surpassed the expectations of most observers.
It was during a year-plus break from the sport when it was realized: he really is a fighter. Like most fighters, the retirement didn’t stick. Rees returned to the ring in August ’09, and just kept winning – or least managed to never again lose.
An 11-fight unbeaten streak – including top honors in the Dec. ’09 Prizefighter tournament – has led to the biggest opportunity of his near 15-year career. Rees makes his stateside debut, arriving to Atlantic City as a massive underdog for his lightweight title challenge against unbeaten Adrien Broner (Saturday, HBO, 10:30PM ET). [Click Here To Read More