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Where is Gavin Rees’ title shot?

Gavin ReesBy Gari Jones: It’s been a while since I wrote an article, but I hope you find this one interesting. In a division that hosts such names as Marquez, Katsidis, Brandon Rios and Kevin Mitchell he may be not considered by many to be the best fighter at lightweight, but Gavin Rees (W31, L1, D1, KO 16) whether you like him or not has been a busy man these past couple of years.

Currently he is the EBU (European) lightweight title holder, but back in March 2008 he lost his WBA World Light Welterweight title to Andriy Kotelnik by decision. But since that loss Rees has put together an eight (8) fight winning streak and one (1) technical draw (due to clash of heads).

Three of those wins came via the successful Prize-fighter Tournament which Gavin Rees won at Light Welterweight back in December 2009, climbing down a division he added the British and EBU lightweight titles to his name and is currently ranked 13th by the WBC, whichever way you look at it, Gavin Rees these past three years has been having a successful run.

I think he’s earned his way in this division and as a former world champion I do ask the question “where is Gavin Rees’s title shot?” others are getting theirs.

I find it rather unfair that after having lost two of his last three fights; Katsidis gets to fight for the Interim WBO lightweight title this coming Saturday and Kevin Mitchell is being touted for a potential world title fight after just recently getting over a devastating defeat to Katsidis by defeating John Murray. John who oddly enough is set to fight Brandon Rios for the WBA Lightweight Title even though he suffered his first loss to (funny enough) Kevin Mitchell in July this year. It seems that losing is the key to success in the lightweight division.

Looking at his fight record from 2008, I believe that maybe Gavin Rees has been getting overlooked; he has been patiently climbing his way into title contention and while the people above him suffer losses but continue to gain title opportunities, Rees is left on the sidelines.

It’s not too difficult to conceive the idea Rees is maybe being overlooked when you consider that Ricky Burns (WBO No: 1 – but Fightnews rank him 16th (Rankings are from fightnews.com) and John Murray’s (IBF 15th) next fights are for world titles. Burns is ranked high by the WBO, but other boxing organizations don’t rate these two anymore than Rees, so it only goes to strengthening my argument more.

On Boxrec.com which is one of the best sites for all round boxing stats including rankings for weight divisions. Boxrec currently have Kevin Mitchell 6th, Ricky Burns 12th, Michael Katsidis 13th, Gavin Rees 17th and John Murray 26th I once again ask the question where’s Gavin Rees’s title shot?. While I’m positive that if he keeps on winning his chance will soon come, but looking at the way the lightweight division currently is, I believe Gavin Rees has earned that shot now.

Potential opponent for Rees could be the World Boxing Council (WBC) Lightweight Champion Antonio DeMarco, remember Rees is ranked 13th by the WBC so he is in the top 15 of fighters. Whatever Gavin Rees and his camp do next going on this evidence and statistics, if he isn’t fighting for a title soon I would start to think either Rees doesn’t want to further his career or the powers that be don’t want him as a champion.


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