Boxing: Trainer was wrong to throw in the towel, says Gavin Rees


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The Independent Online

Gavin Rees said he disagreed with his trainer's decision to throw in the towel in the fifth round despite coming up well short against Adrien Broner, who retained his WBC lightweight title in Atlantic City.

The American champion scored two knockdowns in the bout late on Saturday night and took command with a powerful left hook to the body that forced Rees to take a knee in the fifth.

The Welshman got to his feet, but Broner landed a series of body shots and combinations that drove Rees into a corner and prompted his trainer, Gary Lockett, to wave a white towel. Referee Earl Brown halted the fight just before the end of the round.

"He kept coming and threw every shot like it was his best shot," Broner said. "I knew he would be tough. He's tougher than a steak that's well-done."

Broner controlled most of the bout, but Rees did not back down. The 32-year-old wasn't fazed by Broner's antics and continually pressed forward. At times, he even did a little clowning himself, which drew some cheers from the fans.

"I wanted to [stop the fight] after four rounds, but Gavin said no way he was quitting," Lockett said. "I also considered stopping it after the third, but Gavin is too proud."

Broner scored his first knockdown in the fourth, catching Rees with one of his trademark right uppercuts. Rees got up and endured a savage beating along the ropes just before the bell sounded to end the round.

"I'm disappointed in my performance," Rees said. "I made a lot of mistakes. I have a better skillset than that. He hits incredibly hard for a lightweight. I knew he hit hard, but the power just stunned me. But I disagree with my trainer stopping it. I was always going to get back up. I was going to get keep getting up until I got knocked out cold."