By Terence Dooley
Manchesters John Murray has been ordered to defend his EBU lightweight title against Gavin Rees of Wales. The contest has been put out to purse bids by the European Boxing Union, with an April 21st purse submission deadline imposed by the regulating body.
Murray moved 31-0 (18) via a gruelling points win over Spains Karim El Ouazghari at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on April 2. Rees, 34-1 (16), won the British belt courtesy of an eleventh round stoppage win over John Watson in November last year. He was forced to vacate the title due to a nose injury a problem that also saw the former WBA 140lb title holder withdraw from a proposed April 16 MEN Arena showdown with Anthony Crolla, who won the vacant Lonsdale belt by knocking out Watson in February.
Both Murray and Rees are eying world level. John may yet may have to go through the former WBA titlist if he wishes to progress to bigger titles. Rees recently told me that he can once again scale the world title mountain; his buzz saw approach coupled with Murrays rugged determination could produce a FOTY candidate should the two men meet.
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