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?
Latest in Sport
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

Guru Careers: Trainer / IT Trainer

£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...

Recruitment Genius: Fence Installer - Commercial

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This privately owned Fencing Co...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £22,000

£17000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you answer yes, this company...

Recruitment Genius: Project / Account Manager and IT Support

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leader in Online Pro...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'