Broner vs. Rees on February 16th in Atlantic City
By Thomas Cowan: USA’s Adrien Broner faces Britain’s Gavin Rees in a battle for the WBC lightweight title on Saturday night. This is expected to be a one-sided fight, with most British fans expecting Rees to be dominated and most Americans expecting him to be humiliated by the man many see as the heir to the pound-for-pound throne. I think Broner will win easily but this is still a good fight for both parties.
This is a good fight for Broner because if he goes out and dominates a former world champion like Rees his reputation will be further enhanced, even if Rees isn’t well known in the US. I do think that 23 year old Broner needs to keep his feet on the ground because his opponents so far haven’t been good enough to justify all the hype about him.
The only top fighter he’s beaten is Antonio DeMarco and I don’t think beating him his good enough to be #6 on The Ring’s pound-for-pound list. I think there’s plenty of fighters who are ranked below Broner who have beaten better quality opposition in their career, the first 3 that spring into my mind are Timothy Bradley, Wladimir Klitschko and Carl Froch.
However, Broner has looked extremely talented in the fights he’s had so far, showing that he’s fast, powerful and skilful, so it’s easy to see why fans are getting exciting about him. Broner also wants to fight Ricky Burns later in the year if Burns can win his WBO/IBF unification fight with Miguel Vasquez. Even though beating Rees won’t enhance Broner’s reputation in the States, it will make him better known in Britain, which would make a Broner vs Burns fight more appealing to Burns.
Despite the fact he is a huge underdog, an 80/1 underdog in some American casinos, this is also a good fight for Rees. The former WBA light welterweight world champion has been fighting pretty poor opposition since he lost his title by being knocked out by Andriy Kotelnik in 2008.
That loss must have hurt Rees, especially because it came in front of Rees’ loyal Welsh support. Since then, Rees has moved down to lightweight and has captured the British and European titles in the last couple of years. Broner is clearly a huge step up from Rees’ recent opposition but the Brit is no mug, and I think making a former world champion an 80/1 underdog is a bit harsh.
Fighting in front of thousands in Atlantic City infront of thousands of fans, plus the masses of other fans watching on HBO is a huge opportunity for Rees. He’ll be looking in make a good account of himself and try to win back some of his Welsh fans back, who might have started following Nathan Cleverly after Rees somewhat slipped off the radar.
Also, lets not forget that this fight gives Rees a shot as the WBC lightweight title and while he’s a huge underdog, if Broner gets too arrogant and doesn’t go about the job professionally Rees could take advantage. Broner’s chin hasn’t really been tested, mostly because his defence is excellent, but a fighter is only ever one lapse in concentration and one punch away from having their career turned upside down.
I expect Broner to be on top throughout this fight but Rees is very tough so I don’t see him being knocked out in the early rounds. I think this will be a decent test for Broner because he’ll probably have to land plently of shots to wear Rees down.
Prediction: Broner to win by 7th round KO
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