by Kevin Fancis, courtesy of The Daily Star
GAVIN REES aims to take a step closer to becoming a two-weight world champ in front of his home crowd in Cardiff next Saturday.
Rees meets unbeaten Irishman Andy Murray for the vacant European lightweight title at the Motorpoint Arena and just can’t wait to move into world title company.
He said: “After I win this fight, the next step is world level. The Commonwealth is there too, but I want to fight for a world title and become a two-weight world champ.
“I want to win this European title, get world-ranked with the bodies and get a shot.
“The winner of Kevin Mitchell and John Murray’s fight will get a world title fight so maybe I could fight the winner of that.”
Rees, 31, won the WBA light-welterweight crown in 2007 and is fighting in the Welsh capital for the first time in more than three years.
The Newbridge fighter takes on Cavan’s Murray live on Sky Sports on a big night for British boxing.
A great bill for armchair fans is topped by Carl Froch’s WBA super-middleweight defence against Glen Johnson in Atlantic City in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Rees has been out of action for seven months after winning the British title against John Watson in Newport in November.
But after a successful operation on the nose problem that forced him out of his rematch with Watson, Rees is raring to put on a great show in his backyard.
He said: “A big Welsh crowd behind me in Cardiff is going to be a boost, no doubt about it. It’s always great to box in front of your home fans.”
His last fight in Cardiff ended in defeat against Andriy Kotelnik in the same venue in his fi rst defence of the WBA title in March 2008 – the only black mark on his record.
“The Rock” returned to action with a great win in Prizefighter in London, December 2009 and chalked up wins against Abdoulaye Soukouna and Sam Amoako before his British title win.
The break from the ring has given Rees the hunger to go hunting titles again – and having to relinquish the British belt could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
“John Murray has chosen to box Mitchell, which is fair enough,” he said.
“I need to concentrate on Andy, who is a talented kid and I’m not looking past that.
“He’s a bit like Watson – a tall, upright boxer who will look to out-jab me.
“But I showed against Watson what a great jab I’ve got and I’ll prove it again with Andy.” Tags: Gavin Rees