Adrien Broner faces Gavin Rees tomorrow night on HBO from Atlantic City. Does the Welshman have a chance at the upset, or will this be another Broner domination of a lesser foe?
Gavin Rees only has 1 loss in 39 fights, is a former world champion, and is only 32 years old. Yes I said only 32 years old. On paper he's easily one of Adrien Broner's most difficult opponents. But will any of that actually translate into having a chance of defeating Broner? Well, perhaps if Broner has a bad day.
Aside from the speed, power, and technical skills that make Broner a "problem", he has a massive reach advantage over Rees (7 inches according to BoxRec). However, Rees has overcome this physical obstacle in the past against lesser opposition. He aggressively works his way inside and often haphazardly. Consequently his opponents often wind up bloodied or worse as a result of a head clash. Has Broner ever had to fight through that kind of adversity before? Can he keep his composure? It's the only wildcard in the fight for me.
Ultimately Adrien should prove to be physically too much for Gavin. But if Rees can handle Broner's power and speed, Broner is in for a long night. Gavin is not some crude brawler. The man knows how to box. Furthermore he's as durable as he is clever. I'd be highly surprised if Broner stopped Rees in the early rounds. But I'm still going to have to go with Broner; let's say by TKO in the 9th round. Broner TKO-9.
I want to make clear up front that Gavin Rees is a pretty good fighter, one tough cookie, and a lot of fun to watch most of the time. He's sort of a "Little Engine That Could" kind of fighter; he's small even at 135, but he briefly held a major title at 140 and he just never quits in his fights, even when he has issues with stamina due to his own workrate.
But Adrien Broner is at least two levels above Gavin Rees. He's bigger, stronger, faster, longer, younger, fresher, and just plain better. There is absolutely nothing that Rees does as well as Broner, let alone better. This is going to be a wipeout. Broner TKO-4
It's been difficult to not enjoy watching Rees fight over the past few years - and full credit to him for jumping at the chance to fight someone like Broner away from home - but this is a bad, bad match-up for him.
Considering the disparity in the fighters' respective reaches, and Rees being Rees, there's little reason to think that he'll attempt to swarm the Cincinnati man from the word go. The problem (no pun intended) is that it's equally difficult to imagine a scenario where, at some point, he's not left wide open to the uppercuts Broner used so effectively against DeMarco last time out.
If Broner wants to box Rees cautiously and win this comfortably at range, then he wins it comfortably at range. Unfortunately for the Welshman, I don't think Broner has any intention of doing that. At fringe world level, I really do rate Rees at lightweight. This isn't fringe world level. Broner TKO-4.
Boxing charges its protagonists more than any other in the pursuit of stardom, yet one equation has always remained the same: upsets immortalise. The likes of Kirkland Laing, Lloyd Honeyghan and Buster Douglas laid their claim to a small chunk of boxing history with shocking wins over Roberto Duran, Donald Curry and Mike Tyson respectively -- and Gavin Rees, on Saturday night, will look to achieve the same. In facing Adrien Broner, however, he will also be facing daunting gaps in size, speed, talent and power, and that's before he reaches the small matter of home judges and a hostile crowd.
Broner might have flattered to deceive against Daniel Ponce de Leon, but that fight increasingly appears little more than an anomaly on an otherwise near-faultless slate; his demolition of Anthony DeMarco certainly went some way to silencing the doubters. Seemingly blessed with the kind of preternatural physical gifts which only the great fighters can lay claim to, Broner should prove irresistible for Rees, who simply isn't blessed with the kind of talent Laing and Douglas were able, fleetingly, to harness in their spotlit moments, nor the phenomenal work rate and aggression of Honeyghan. Expect Broner's straight right to land with increasing regularity as the fight goes on; expect his underestimated body work to drain Rees' stamina and render him a stationary target. Expect, in short, the expected. Broner TKO-8.
There's just no way I can envision this fight as anything but a clear, decisive win for Adrien Broner. Gavin Rees is a solid pro that will come to fight, but he doesn't have the artillery to hang with the best lightweight in the world. Broner is going to make him miss his power shots, wear him out, and then finish him at some point in the middle rounds. Rees' only hope is that maybe Broner is looking past him. Even then, the talent gap is likely too much to overcome regardless. I'll go with Broner by TKO in seven. Broner TKO-7.
There is a massive gulf in ability between the two boxers in this fight, and that shouldn't be viewed as a criticism of Rees, who is a very good fighter. Broner is one of the most naturally gifted boxers to emerge in recent times, and like him or loathe him, it's going to take an exceptional fighter or a phenomenal puncher to beat him.
Rees is a no-nonsense old fashioned type fighter who looks to break opponents down with relentless attacks to body and head. He's proved successful at this against good domestic fighters and once at world level against Souleymane M'baye but this is a task way above that.
Broner has all the advantages and it's hard to see a way in which Rees can last the distance. The Welshman will give it everything but one imagines Broner beating Rees to the punch time and time again on his way to a mid rounds stoppage victory. Broner by mid-rounds stoppage.
Final Tally: Adrien Broner 5, Gavin Rees 0.