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

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London