Advertisement
Advertisement

Lockett Warns Doubters: Rees Can Punch at This Weight!

Timing and underrated power the key for Rees according to Lockett
By Terence Dooley

Gavin Rees has it all to do at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on Saturday night when he challenges Adrien Broner for the WBC lightweight title.  Broner is viewed as the heir apparent to Floyd Mayweather’s P4P crown; the 23-year-old from Ohio is fast, flash, brash and can certainly talk a good fight.  Indeed, the Big Boi from Outkast lookalike has told people that he will shine come Saturday night, leaving Rees in the unenviable position of having to find a way to block this shine or else have to listen to Broner babble on.

Rees, though, is an experienced campaigner; he has held the WBA light-welterweight world title and is a dominant force at lightweight in the U.K. — well, if you remove WBO titlist Ricky Burns from the mix.  The 32-year-old’s run of British and European title wins led to this chance of a lifetime against Broner.  The Welshman has repeatedly insisted that he has the tools to deal with “The Problem” and doesn’t look one bit fazed by the task ahead.

Gary Lockett, Rees’s trainer, has always maintained that his charge has an underrated jab, all-round ability and power.  The former middleweight world title challenger lost in three-rounds when meeting then-champion Kelly Pavlik in 2008, but the highly-rated coach has always insisted that “The Rock” has a lot more in his locker than just work rate and determination.

“Because Gavin’s so short [5’ 4’’] and fast he can get the timing right and out-box taller guys on the jab,” said Locket, who has also paid tribute to the power Rees has shown during his lightweight run.

“I can’t put into words how hot it was in there when he fought [Anthony] Mezaache [a seventh-round TKO win when defending the EBU title in France last March].  We were dying just standing there during the national anthems and couldn’t imagine what it would be like for the boxers.  At that point, I thought the fight wouldn’t go past eight or nine rounds because of the heat.  The game plan went out the window after Gavin wobbled Mezaache in the first round.  Gavin can punch at this weight.”

Rees, 37-1-1 (18), used to be trained by Enzo Calzaghe, he won the WBA 140lb title under Calzaghe, but lost the title in his first defence after being utterly out-classed and then stopped in the 12th by Andriy Kotelnyk.  He joined Lockett when Enzo retired from the sport.  Known for being a bit of a wild child during his younger days, Gavin was a mature man by the time he walked into Lockett’s gym.

“When he came to me his attitude had changed as he was older, had lost his WBA world title, but was coming off a Prizefighter win [Rees won Prizefighter: The Light-Welterweights tournament in 2009] so had another chance.  Gavin’s been a bit of a boy in the past, who hasn’t?  Some of us are luckier than others as we act a certain way when we’ve had a drink.  Others might not.  He may have been a little bit leery in the past, but he’s a good lad, trains like a maniac and does what I ask him to do.”

Still, it is going to be tough for Rees come Saturday night.  Broner, 25-0 (21), is on a run of five stoppage wins and looks a star in the making.  Sure, the 23-year-old’s trash talk is excruciatingly vapid, stilted and compleltely devoid of wit, but his boxing has an edge to it and he is on the rise. 

The biggest positive for Rees is that Broner is still a work-in-progress.  The former star amateur is no Floyd Mayweather, and is unlikely to ever come close to Mayweather’s level of ability due to pedestrian footwork and a tendency to load up on his shots, but he has mixed in good company and wins over Daniel Ponce De Leon, Jason Litzau and Antonio DeMarco, in only his second title fight up at 135lbs, are not to be sniffed at.

On the negative side, his WBO super featherweight title run didn’t set the world alight and he was stripped of the title on the scales when failing to make weight for a defence against Vicente Escobedo last July.  Plus his technique still lacks a little bit of polish, which could see Rees do well early in the fight if he can establish his own jab. 

So, and unlike many of our American cousins, us Brits haven’t quite got a boner for Broner, but he has pricked our interest enough to keep us up on Saturday night/Sunday morning to take in a fight that would be remembered as a major upset if Rees gets his rhythmic technique going and celebrates his 40th career fight by grabbing his biggest-ever win.

Please send news and views to [email protected] or Twitter @Terryboxing.

User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Hearn: Haye Not on Anthony Joshua's Radar For Next Three Fights Canelo, Golden Boy Dig in For Lengthy Court Battle With All-Star Roach: I'm Excited, I Truly Feel Postol Will Beat Terence Crawford Jacobs' Trainer Says They'll Be Ready For Golovkin in Due Time Joseph Parker on Elbow Issue, Solomon Haumono Bout, More UFC Prez: Not a Single Convo on Mayweather-McGregor Firat Arslan Returns To The Ring on June 4 in Kassel Gabe Rosado To Face Antonio Gutierrez on June 4 at StubHub Abril-Belmontes, Foreman-Davis Doubleheader on June 3 Golovkin's Promoter Hits Back at Mayweather's Trash Talk Shane Mosley-David Avanesyan Full Card Set Down AIBA President Confident Pro Fighters Will Compete in Olympics Haye: I'll Be Careful Early, But Then I'll Drop Briggs and KO Him Kevin Satchell Returns on June 4th as Part of Smith Liverpool Bill Photos: Floyd Mayweather, 50 Cent Reunite On Stage in Las Vegas Briggs Feels Haye in Decline: He Was a Better Fighter Before Liam Smith: IF Canelo Returns To 154, He's Perfect For Me! Ricky Burns: Michele Di Rocco Won't Know What Hit Him! Oscar De La Hoya, Mario Lopez To Get in The Ring For Charity Makabu: Not Going The Distance, I'm Knocking Tony Bellew Out! Berto Tabs Golovkin Over Canelo, Wants To Fight The Winner Roach Downs Mayweather-McGregor, Wants Lebedev-Glowacki Cuellar Confident of Mares Win, Tabs Santa Cruz Over Frampton Hearn Blasts Khan, Says Brook Fight is 'Gone' Jorge Linares is Ready: I'm Going To Fight Anthony Crolla Next! Lemieux Interested in Canelo Fight - But NO Catch-Weight No More Delays: All-Star Boxing Gets Day in Court Versus Canelo Shannon Briggs: I'm Knocking David Haye Out Cold in a Round Blackwell: I'd Love To Land Final KO Shot on Jaw of Eubank Sr! Haye Admits Precautions Needed To Prevent Briggs Presser Brawl Francisco De Vaca Puts Away Gustavo Molina in The Eighth Kay Prospere: I Couldn't Have Asked For Worse Preparation McGregor Heading To UFC Return, Not Floyd Mayweather PPV Joseph Parker-Solomon Haumono in Talks For Showdown "Fighting Words" - Making Peace Doesn’t Guarantee Making Fights Amir Khan: If Brook Stays With Eddie Hearn - Fight Won't Happen! Felix Verdejo Looks at Dropping To 130, Targeting World Title WBA: Lebedev vs. Shumenov in 120 Days, Winner Faces Dorticos Imre Szello Scores Knockout of Hamza Wandera in Four Malignaggi: McGregor Can't Even Beat Peter Cards in The Ring
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement