Despite the Welshman’s admirable determination and aggressiveness, “The Problem” Adrien Broner outclassed Gavin Rees to earn a fifth round TKO triumph and successfully defend the WBC lightweight title on Saturday night in front of a raucous 4,812 crowd at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Broner (26-0, 22 KOs), who is often compared to “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather due to dominating roughly 300 amateur pugilists, twice floored Rees (37-2-1, 18 KOs) before trainer Gary Lockett mercifully halted the battering at 2 minutes, 59 seconds into the round.
"I knew he was coming to fight," said Broner, 23, a cocky and flamboyant youngster who is ranked as the number one lightweight in the world by BoxRec and the sixth preeminent pound-for-pound fighter by The Ring. "He's a world class fighter. I had to see how much gas was left in that Toyota. He kept coming and threw every shot like it was his best shot.”
Rees, who previously hadn’t been overcome since falling to Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik by a 12th round TKO nearly five years ago this March in 2008, was disappointed with his performance and Lockett’s stoppage.
"I'm disappointed in my performance," said Rees, 32, a past WBA light welterweight champ who was born in Newbridge. "I made a lot of mistakes. I think I have a better skill set 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. I disagree with my trainer stopping it. I was always going to get back up. He's the best I've ever been in with."
Roger “Pit” Perron is a venerable boxing trainer from Brockton (Mass.) who now works with Mike and Rich Cappiello at their gym, Cappiello Brothers Boxing and Training.
Perron expects Broner to trump Rees and continue his maturation into one of the sport’s premier scrappers.
“Broner looks like the next great,” said Perron, 76, who worked with International Boxing Hall of Famer Marvelous Marvin Hagler (62-3-2, 52 KOs) at the Petronelli Brothers Gym. “He looks like he’ll become the next superstar as today’s big guns begin fading away.”
Although insufferably arrogant, Adrien Broner is undoubtedly “the best” youngster in the sport today and “he’ll become the next superstar as today’s big guns begin fading away.”