Liverpool fighter breaks nose in accidental head clash technical draw
Gavin Rees defended his European Lightweight title in at the Newport Centre in South Wales on Saturday night as a clash of heads in the fourth round left Derry Mathews with a broken nose and forced the contest to end in a technical draw.

It was Rees’ first defence of the title and it was bubbling into a good looking contest, with the challenger starting well in the opening round, using his reach well to claim the opening stanza. Rees responded in bustling fashion in the second and third rounds but just as it was shaping up to be a great contest, disaster struck for Mathews in the fourth.

Fighting at close quarters, Rees’ head connected flush with Mathews’ nose and instantly the 27 year-old was in trouble. With blood pouring from his nose, he was taken over to the doctor who suspected a broken nose and with the fight inside four rounds; Rees retains his title through a technical draw.

“I'm absolutely devastated, I've worked so hard for the fight and I know Gavin has, but things happen in life and you've just got to get on with it,” said Mathews. “As soon as my nose went I knew it was broken and I was swallowing blood.”

While Mathews is hoping for a rematch, a disappointed Welshman revealed that he could be ready to move down to Super Featherweight after work with trainer Gary Lockett and nutritionist Renzo Algieri saw Rees enter the fight ‘in the best shape ever’.

“I've still got the belt and I'm still champion but we both trained hard for this so it's disappointing we couldn't have a full fight,” said Rees. “He took the first round and the other two were mine, I was really warming up from the third but accidents happen and it's unfortunate.

“I think he gave me his best in the opening round and then I shook him with some good shots in the second and third so it was just getting going. I'll sit down with Eddie Hearn, Gary and the rest of the team and we'll talk about the next move – which could be going down to Super Featherweight.

“At the weigh-in I was only three pounds over the Super Featherweight limit and I feel in fantastic shape, I've been boxing these big guys before so I think I could do really well at Super Featherweight, I think I stand a great chance of winning a World title in that division.

“I've only been working on a strict diet with Renzo for four weeks and I'm looking better than ever. The weight has flown off so why box at a weight above one that you can make? In my last few fights I've been about 9st 7lbs, so why not make the move? I've adapted to the style of fighting taller guys quite well so it's not about that, I'm not bothered about that, but I think my power would be great at Super Featherweight and hopefully I can sit down with the team and we can get out against in December.”

Lockett added: “I'm so proud of Gavin the way he has changed his lifestyle, the way he eats and even the way he thinks - it's fantastic and all credit should go to him. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, well he's showed that you can. I think he would have gone on to win that tonight, we'll never know - but the pace would have been easy for Gavin tonight as he's done the weight so easily, so yes, Super Featherweight is definitely an option we'll look at.”

Before Rees and Mathews clashed, Bradley Pryce claimed a hard fought points win over Danny Butler, thanks to a final round knockdown of the Bristol prospect. Lockett trains Pryce and believes his man was behind through six rounds, but in the last he unleashed a fine left uppercut to floor Butler and Pryce too the fight 77-75 on referee Wynford Jones’ scorecard.

A third win on the night for Lockett then came after Jeff Evans impressed taking all four rounds against Sam Couzens.

Team USA Enjoys a Perfect 4-0 Showing to Open Second Round Action at the World Championships

(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA is currently enjoying a six-bout winning streak at the 2011 World Championships following a 4-0 performance on Sunday in Baku, Azerbaijan. Two-time Olympian and 2007 World Champion Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) and super heavyweight Lenroy “Cam” Thompson (Lenexa, Kansas) both notched their first wins of the tournament while welterweight Errol Spence (Desoto, Texas) and light heavyweight Marcus Browne (Staten Island, N.Y.) each recorded their second victory of the 2011 World Championships in Sunday’s action.

Warren opened competition for the U.S. squad in a bout with Georgy Chygayev of Ukraine. The first round between the two experienced boxers was slow paced with Warren taking a 4-2 lead after the opening stanza. The pace quickened in the second round as both boxers scored seven points to move the score to an 11-9 margin in favor of Warren. The two-time Olympian left no doubt in the third round, outscoring Chygayev 11-6 to win a 22-15 decision and move one step closer to a second world title. Warren will return to the ring for a flyweight match-up with Rey Saludar of the Philippines in Tuesday’s 7 p.m. (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT) session.

Browne was the second U.S. boxer to take the ring, and he looked to build on the momentum of his first round bout, which featured a first round stoppage on the lone punch thrown in the contest. Yet his second victory wouldn’t come as easily as he faced off with Georgia’s Levan Guledani in light heavyweight action. Browne trailed by a 4-3 margin after the first, but he didn’t allow the deficit to distract him from his game plan. He grabbed the lead in the second round, taking his own 8-5 advantage into the final stanza of boxing. Browne held onto his lead over the final three minutes to win a 10-6 decision and advance to a third round match-up with 2009 Heavyweight World Champion Egor Mekhontsev of Russia in Tuesday’s 11 a.m. (2 a.m. ET/11 p.m.) session.

Spence and Thompson both competed in evening action in Baku and won their second round bouts by identical margins. It was Spence who took the ring first as he battled Canada’s Clayton Custio in a welterweight preliminary round contest. The two boxed to a 4-4 tie after one but Spence took control of the bout in the second round, grabbing a 12-7 lead with three minutes remaining. He kept the pressure up in the final round en route to an 18-9 final decision and a berth in the third round. Spence will battle Hungary’s Imre Backsai in Tuesday evening competition.

Thompson was the final U.S. boxer to compete in the 2011 World Championships and he opened competition in a showdown with Australia’s Alexey Muhkin on Sunday night. The U.S. super heavyweight took the early lead in their bout, claiming a 6-3 edge after the first three minutes of action. He slowly extended his advantage over the three rounds of action, holding an 11-7 lead after two. Thompson enjoyed his highest scoring round in the third and won an 18-9 final decision in his World Championships debut. He will return to action on Tuesday evening in a bout with 2004 Olympic silver medalist and 2009 World Championships bronze medalist Viktar Zuyev of Belarus.

Monday’s full day of bouts will be the toughest of the tournament to this point for Team USA as five U.S. boxers compete in second round action and three face a former Olympic or World Championships medalist. Flyweight Eros Correa (San Jose, Calif.) has been off for a full week after claiming his first win of the tournament last Monday. He will battle 2008 Olympian and 2009 World Championships silver medalist David Ayrapetyan of Russia on Monday.

Lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) will face the most decorated opponent of the bunch in his second round contest against reigning Olympic and World Champion Vasyl Lomachenko of Ukraine. Lomachenko is competing in his first major international event at lightweight after previously campaigning at the featherweight division.

Bantamweight Joseph Diaz, Jr. (S. El Monte, Calif.) will battle 2004 Olympic silver medalist Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand in his second bout of the tournament on Monday. Middleweight Jesse Hart (Philadelphia, Pa.) will face Tajikistan’s Sobirjon Nazarov following his first round win on Saturday while heavyweight Joseph Williams (Queens, N.Y.) challenges Kazakhstan’s Vassiliy Levit after a week of inaction in Baku.

USA Boxing National Coach Joe Zanders (Long Beach, Calif.), coaches Ronald Simms (Stafford, Va.) and Manny Robles (Los Angeles, Calif.), technical advisor Ken Porter (Akron, Ohio), and Team Manager Ken Buffington (Marshalltown, Iowa) are leading the United States team in Baku.

The 2011 World Championships are the first international qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympic Games, and the light flyweight through light heavyweight boxers must place in top ten to qualify for London while the heavyweight and super heavyweight competitors need to place in the top six.

For the full brackets for all 10 weight classes and the most up-to-date results, go to AIBA will show live scoring on its website, throughout the tournament and will start webcasting all the bouts on October 4 at For more information on Team USA, go to USA Boxing will tweet all the American results as they happen @usaboxing.

The first AIBA Men’s World Championships were held in 1974 in Havana, Cuba. The event, which consistently showcases the best boxers in the world, is held every two years.

U.S. Results
114 lbs: Rau’shee Warren, Cincinnati, Ohio/USA dec. Georgy Chygayev, UKR, 22-15

152 lbs: Errol Spence, Desoto, Texs/USA dec. Clayton Custio, CAN, 18-9

178 lbs: Marcus Browne, Staten Island, N.Y./USA dec. Levan Guledani, GEO, 10-6

201+ lbs: Lenroy “Cam” Thompson, Lenexa, Kansas/USA dec. Alexey Muhkin, AUS, 18-9

USA Boxing, as the national governing body for Olympic-style boxing, is the United States’ member organization of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) and a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).

Article posted on 02.10.2011

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