Boxing: Level on points after the insults, but Adrien Broner should beat Gavin Rees in ring

Welshman promises to silence “disrespectful”  American – but the odds are heavily against him

Gavin Rees appears unaware that history, reach, age and the bookies are heavily against him in his WBC lightweight title fight against Adrien Broner in Atlantic City on Saturday night.

Broner is unbeaten, nine years younger, has a six-inch reach advantage and has stopped or knocked out all of the men he has beaten in his last four world title fights.

In addition to the raw stats, there exists the important fact that Broner is being groomed to be boxing’s replacement when Floyd Mayweather Jr. finally retires and the Rees fight is his seventh consecutive appearance on HBO, the sport’s paymasters.

“You’d think that I’ve got no arms the way they have written me off,” said the 32-year-old from Newbridge. “The bookies have me at 80-1 to win – that is crazy, I’m a former world champion and I’ve lost just once in 39 fights.”

Broner has cultivated an image as a character and performs a post-fight act with his father that involves a spot of personal grooming. However, in boxing brash behaviour and being cocky are often mistaken for being “colourful”; Broner is a perfect modern example of a so-called character and at the recent conference in New York, Rees was easily able to reduce him to stuttering and muttering with a selection of b-list banter.

“Broner is disrespectful of me and all boxers and I don’t really have much more to say, just that I will knock this prick out,” said Rees, and when Broner accused him of being “ugly” there was a classic comeback from Rees: “That’s not what your missus said.” Broner and his paid entourage fell silent, in stark contrast to their efforts a week ago to get fans to select a round for Rees to get knocked out.

Broner is an exceptional fighter in the ring with power in either hand, fabulous speed and a cunning eye for an angle. He has moved up from super-feather, where he struggled to make the weight, and his last fight was a quite brilliant stoppage of Antonio DeMarco, who was the defending WBC champion. He has talent and multiple layers of backing on his side and starts as an understandable heavy favourite.

Rees will have in his corner Gary Lockett, a veteran of another fight in Atlantic City a few years ago where the plucky British boxer – there is no other type once they get a passport – fought a high-profile American for a world title. Lockett was stopped in three rounds by Kelly Pavlik.

It is possible Lockett’s loss was one of the most severe suffered by a British boxer in a world title fight in American in recent memory. However, in 1955 Don Cockell took a boat to San Francisco to challenge Rocky Marciano for the heavyweight world title and the ninth round massacre still remains a  measure of any fighters’ ability to absorb a beating.

It is unwise in boxing to think about fairy tales, but in 1986 one did actually take place in Atlantic City when Lloyd Honeyghan stopped Donald Curry to win the unified welterweight world title. The bookies never even offered odds on the miracle ending – Rees is available at ridiculous odds and has a better chance than Honeyghan.

How they match up

Adrien Broner Name Gavin Rees

 28 July 1989 Born 10 May 1980

Cincinnati, United States Birthplace Newbridge, Wales

The Problem Nickname The Rock

2008 Turned pro 1998

5ft 7in Height 5ft 4in

Orthodox Stance Orthodox

71in Reach 64in

25 Fights 39

25 Wins 37

21 KOs 18

0 Draws 1

0 Losses 1

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project