By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
UNDERDOG Gavin Rees aims to prove the bookies wrong when he fights for the WBC world lightweight title tonight.
Rees is a 16-1 shot to take 50-1 ON favourite Adrien Broner’s belt in Atlantic City.
Pint-sized Rees, 32, stands at just 5ft 3ins – five inches shorter than unbeaten American Broner.
But the Welshman is undaunted and said: “People aren’t giving me much of a chance but I’m confident of beating him.
“Before this fight was announced, everyone said I was world class. Now all of a sudden I’m rubbish because I’m fighting Broner!”
Eddie Hearn, who promotes Rees, said: “I’m not trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, but he’s nowhere near the outsider bookmakers are making him. There isn’t one opponent Broner has beaten that Gavin Rees wouldn’t beat.”
Broner, 23, deserves his favourite’s tag after coming through 25 pro bouts without a defeat.
The former WBO super-featherweight champ has been compared to Floyd Mayweather Jr.
He said: “I don’t underestimate Rees. If we stood face to face, I probably couldn’t see him – but I respect him as a fighter.
“Rees is a former champion at light-welterweight. He’s coming down in weight so he is used to getting hit by strong fighters.
“He is going to be there all night or until I put him to sleep.”
Broner is hoping to storm through the divisions and, provided there are no slip-ups, a clash against the winner of next month’s Wembley Arena IBF/WBO unification fight between Miguel Vazquez and Scot Ricky Burns looks on.
He then hopes to target the light-welterweight division and an eventual clash with Amir Khan.
Brash Broner bragged: “I could literally leave boxing right now and still say that I did more than anybody in my family ever did.
“I could provide for my kids and my family but I’m not going to settle for that. I’m trying to be the best boxer to ever lace up a pair of gloves. That’s my goal.”
PREDICTION: Rees has got a puncher’s chance but, in all honesty, I have to go with firm favourite Broner around the fifth.