On February 16 Adrien Broner, regarded by many as the top lightweight in the world, will return to the ring to face Gavin Rees on HBO at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ. Understandably, Broner is the heavy favorite heading into the fight, having looked splendid while taking apart Antonio DeMarco over eight one-sided rounds last November to annex the WBC lightweight belt from the Mexican.
Nevertheless, Rees is not allowing his status as the underdog to dismay him one bit. In fact, Rees has declared that he will win, and will not make the same mistakes that DeMarco did against Broner.
Here is some of what Rees had to say in an interview with Live Fight:
"I just say let (the Americans) carry on. They talk like I haven't even got arms or legs or something (laughs). Broner is a good talented kid but I'm very confident for this fight and am training twice a day to be ready for him. He's a big puncher, but I won't be standing in front of him."
"I won't do what DeMarco did. Broner is a good puncher but DeMarco just leaned on him and let him punch away. Why he did that I don't know but I won't be doing the same He's a very sharp counter puncher so I have to be careful not to be caught with anything silly. I'll be moving my head and throwing punches in bunches and not standing in front of him."
"No prediction but I will win. Doesn't matter how whether it's early or the distance. I'm a fighter's fighter and I'll fight anybody anywhere. This is a chance many can only dream about, this will put me on the map everywhere and I'm coming to win. Some are saying he'll knock me out but in 24 years (of boxing) nobody has ever done that to me so it's not happening this time."
Well Rees seems awful confident, but who could blame him? He's a guy getting a big shot on a big stage and is fully excited about the opportunity being presented. He is a huge underdog, and basically has little to lose. Most are expecting him to get stopped, probably during the middle rounds. It isn't that Rees is terrible or anything, it's that Broner is being perceived as being one of the absolute best in the sport already.
The full interview is good. They even draw a similarity between this fight and the Joe Calzaghe domination of Jeff Lacy ("...it's exactly the same scenario. The Americans pump their fighters to no end but it'll be the same as that fight in mine.). Let's hope that Rees doesn't expect Broner to come lumbering in like Lacy, or it will be a quick night indeed.
Broner and Rees are ranked first and sixth, respectively, at lightweight in the Bad Left Hook divisional rankings. Recently, Broner was also voted the Breakthrough Fighter of the Year by the Bad Left Hook Staff.