With the Welshman bashing the American’s personality and quality of opponents, “The Problem” Adrien Broner is set to defend the WBC lightweight title against Gavin Rees on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
"He's got all the mouth; let's see if he can back it up," said Rees, 32, a past WBA light welterweight champ who was born in Newbridge. "He's pretty cocky and I think he underestimates me. The game plan we've got is right and I'm confident in my own ability. He expects me to just come running in head first but he'll have a shock on the night; a lot of people will."
Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs), who most recently exited the squared circle with a ninth-round TKO victory over Brit Derry Matthews at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England, continued bashing the 23-year-old Broner (25-0, 21 KOs).
"His attitude stinks, man,” said Rees, who hasn’t been overcome since falling to Ukrainian Andriy Kotelnik by a 12th-round TKO nearly five years ago this March in 2008. “He shows fighters no respect, but he hasn't even earned the right to do that. What has he done? I've been in the States for five weeks now and American boxing fans don't like him. They tell me they hope I beat him and shut him up.
"I think he acts like a fool for no reason and no one really likes that. Who has he fought? I've seen his fights and half of those guys just stood in front of him letting him dictate the pace of the fight. I'm not going to let him do that. This is the first fight that I have trained away from home because I'm going to show him I'm no walk in the park.”
Broner, who is often compared to “Pretty Boy” Floyd Mayweather due to dominating roughly 300 amateur pugilists, last fought on Nov. 17 when he badly battered Antonio DeMarco until the tough Mexican’s corner mercifully halted the beating at 1:49 of the eighth round.
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.”
For better or worse, Broner, 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, is “the next great.”
Because Broner’s “attitude stinks” and he “shows fighters no respect,” it would be great if Rees “could shut him up.”
Unfortunately for fans of the Welshman and critics of “The Problem,” Adrien Broner will knock the formidable Gavin Rees onto Queer Street within nine lopsided rounds this coming weekend.