Rees vs Kotelnik: Gavin Rees Aims To Lift Welsh Spirits

WBA World Light-Welterweight champion Gavin Rees says Wales will be celebrating an historic double over the next seven days. The 27-year-old is backing the rugby team to win the Grand Slam - and says he'll add to the celebrations by defeating Andreas Kotelnik in the first defence of his WBA title. Undefeated Rees is also determined to put a smile back on the face of team Calzaghe after Enzo Maccarinelli lost to David Haye at the weekend..

"I know the whole country will be watching the rugby this Saturday, and I'll be cheering on Wales against France," said Rees, who takes on his mandatory challenger at the C.I.A a week on Saturday.

"We're a small country but we can really pack a punch, and people will see that on March 22 when I take on Kotelnik.

"He's a classy fighter, but I love testing myself against the best, and I'll go to war if I have to.

"I spent years waiting for my opportunity to fight for a world title, and I'm not going to give it up the first time I defend it."

The Newbridge-based champion will also be aiming to restore some pride to the Calzaghe camp after Maccarinelli was stopped in two rounds by Haye at the O2 Arena.

"I've spoken to Enzo and he is devastated," said Rees. "But I know he'll bounce back from defeat. When I beat Kotelnik it will cheer him up a bit."

Article posted on 12.03.2008

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