Adrien Broner will defend the WBC lightweight title against Gavin Rees on February 16 in Atlantic City, live on HBO.
Adrien Broner appears to have an opponent, as Gavin Rees has reportedly agreed to terms for a February 16 fight on HBO from Atlantic City, with a contract needing to be signed still.
Broner (25-0, 21 KO) is coming off of a thrashing of Antonio DeMarco in November, and Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO) isn't likely to be an upset special pick for many. The Welshman is a former world titlist at 140 pounds, but that was as paper a title as has been won in recent memory, and while he's an admirable battler, it's incredibly difficult to see any way he can really trouble the 23-year-old Cincinnati star.
Rees, 32, has been on a hot streak, though, and with other top options not wanting that fight date, such as Ricky Burns, it comes down to a question of who else Broner could fight on February 16. That's his date, and that's locked in -- if nobody better than Rees can come to terms for a fight, then there's not much blaming Broner, Golden Boy, or HBO. Rees is a top 10 guy in the division; the problem is, the division looks like a mid-day snack for Adrien Broner after the way he dismantled DeMarco.
In short, it's a fight easy to dismiss, quite frankly, as a likely one-sided beatdown. Broner, though, is staying at 135 pounds and not looking to rush up in weight. And Rees may well have been the best available opponent out there.