Boxing


Cleverly vs. Karpency fight card lineup

THE WBO LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD

NATHAN CLEVERLY v TOMMY KARPENCY

SATURDAY 25th FEBRUARY

MOTORPOINT ARENA, CARDIFF

***LIVE ON BOXNATION (SKY CH. 456/VIRGIN CH. 546)***

RUNNING ORDER

Fight # 1 Ė 19:10 hrs

4 X 3 Minute Rounds Middleweight Contest

LIAM WILLIAMS vs. TOMMY TOLAN

Box Nation live broadcast commences @ 19:30 hrs

Fight # 2 Ė 19:40 hrs

8 X 3 Minute Rounds Welterweight Contest

LIAM SMITH vs. LAZSLO KOMJATHI

Fight # 3 - 20:10 hrs

8 X 3 Minute Rounds Welterweight Contest

FRANKIE GAVIN vs. KEVIN McINTYRE

Fight # 4 Ė 20:45 hrs

8 X 3 Minute Rounds International Cruiserweight Contest

ENZO MACCARINELLI vs. CIARAN HEALY

Box Nation Switches to Germany @ 21:30 hrs latest



Fight # 5 Ė 21:35 hrs

6 X 3 Minute Rounds Super-Featherweight Contest

CRAIG EVANS vs. MARC CALLAGHAN

Fight # 6 Ė 22:05 hrs

6 X 3 Minute Rounds Light-Welterweight Contest

LEWIS REES vs. TONY PACE

Box Nation returns to Cardiff @ 22:35 hrs

Fight # 7 Ė 22:45 hrs

THE WBO LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD

12 X 3 Minute Rounds @ 175 lbs

NATHAN CLEVERLY vs. TOMMY KARPENCY

Fight # 8 -Floater

4 X 3 minute Rounds Light-Welterweight Contest

FRANCIS ROBINSON vs. MARK McKRAY

*ALL TIMINGS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE*

IN DEPTH WITH LEWIS REES

Name: Lewis Rees

Weight: Light-Welterweight

Born: Church Village, mid Glamorgan. Up the Rhondda Valley

Age: 22

Family background: Iím the third of four children; an older brother and sister, and a younger sister. Iíve a little boy of my own, Ellis, whoís just eight months old. I still live with my mam and dad in the Rhondda, canít afford a place of my own yet.

Trade: Iíve never really worked. I went straight from school to the GB Olympic squad up in Sheffield at 16 and stayed there for four years before turning pro.

Nickname: As an amateur it was íCaptain Right Hookí but, as a pro, itís been ĎRhondda Boyí because we want to get the whole valley behind us. I like them both to be honest.

What age did you become interested in boxing and why? Iíve been around boxing all my life. As a nipper I was football crazy but, while my brother never boxed, my father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all amateurs and always talking about their favourite fighters and fights. My dad Emlyn was due to go pro but had a retina problem. None of my friends did it but, when I was 13, I persuaded Dad to take me to the local gym and I hit it off straight away.

What do you recall of your amateur career? I boxed for the Rhondda ABC and was coached by Pete Bartlett there until I joined the Olympic set up at 16. My dad helped out with the coaching too.

I actually took a proper hammering in my first bout, aged 13. I was more excited than nervous. Iíd only been in the gym two weeks and faced a boy called Joe Gage whoíd already had a lot of experience and went onto win a few titles. I lasted the distance Ė Iíve never been stopped or put down in my lifeĖ but got battered. That persuaded me to put the work in, in training.

Roughly, Iíd estimate I had about 85 bouts and won about 75. I won seven Welsh titles at all levels including three senior Welsh ABA light-welter titles. I was also British champion as both a junior and a senior, beating Dudley OíShaughnessy and Bradley Skeete respectively in the finals. Two very good boys.

I must have had at least 30 Welsh vests and I was always team captain. I became very good friends with Craig Evans, now my stablemate at Frank Warren Promotions. We both got gold medals at the prestigious Tammer tournament in Finland. In 2007, I got to the quarter-finals of the European Junior Championships in (Sombor) Serbia but lost on a shocking decision to a boy from Azerbaijan. I also got silver medals in tournaments in Poland and Azerbaijan but mostly boxed in dual internationals.

Being part of the GB Olympic set-up at the English Institute for Sport in Sheffield made me the fighter I am today. I was coached by Jim Davison, Kelvin Travis, then towards the end, by Rob McCracken. It was a brilliant learning experience and brought me on leaps and bounds. I done loads of sparring with the likes of (world bronze medallist) Bradley Saunders, Tom Stalker and Ronnie Heffron. Me and Ronnie had real tear ups and the whole gym would stop to watch.

Iíd say the highlight wouldíve been winning the British junior title against OíShaughnessy because it was in Cardiff. All my family and friends were there and it was a real war against a very good fighter. That was the best feeling ever. Dudley was a freak of nature; a tall, skinny boy but he could hit so hard. I won pretty comfortably on points but it didnít reflect how hard the fight had been.

Why did you decide to turn pro when you did? Though I still really enjoyed the sport, I started to get very homesick up in Sheffield towards the end. The final straw was when the Welsh selectors sent Chris Jenkins, a boy Iíd beat by about 20 points in our only bout, to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, instead of me. Still no regrets. I learned a lot in the amateurs and Iím happy now.

Tell us about your back up team? Iím with Frank Warren Promotions and Iím managed and coached by Gary Lockett in Llantrisant which is only about 20 minutes down the road. Gary had been one of my idols growing up and always kept in touch when I was away with the Olympic squad. Enzo Calzaghe had packed up when I started out so Gary was easily the best around in Wales. He already had Gavin Rees and Bradley Pryce in his gym. I also work with a very good nutritionist called Renzo.

Iím sponsored by Muscle Finesse who provide all my supplements and kit, plus a local businessman called Steve Lewis of Triple Crown Car Sales who provides me with a nice little Fiesta.

Whatís your training schedule? Which parts do you most and least enjoy? If I donít have a fight lined up, I go the gym every other day and run on the days in between. When Iíve a date scheduled, I train Monday to Saturday.

I get the gym at 11 and warm up by running up the steps. I might have a couple of light ones (rounds) on the bags then do some intense bar-bag stuff. I do lots of pads with Gary then technical, body or normal sparring, mostly with Bradley, Gavin and Alex Hughes, a very technical light-middle who was a good amateur. We donít do a set number of rounds, just carry on till weíre tired!

We finish off with loads of mad strength and conditioning; kettle bells, flipping and bashing tyres, work with ropes. Gary really mixes it up and always leaves me in agony, aching like a zombie?!

Best bit, even though itís the hardest, is the pads. Garyís the best Iíve had. On the GB team, theyíd be coaching you to nick points but Iím more an inside fighter, as Gary was. I love the way heís steering me into the fighter I am.

Describe your style? What are your best qualities? At just 5ft 6(in), Iím quite a stocky light-welter. Iím a come forward counter-puncher who likes to slowly apply pressure. I can also bang a little. Iíve stopped both my pro opponents to date. Right hook to the body is my favourite shot.

What specifically do you need to work on to fully optimise your potential as a fighter? The biggest thing would be improving my balance and footwork. Iím learning new stuff all the time.

What have you found to be the biggest difference between the pro and amateur codes? The training sessions are longer and a lot more intense. Though weíd train three times a day on the Olympic squad Iím a lot fitter and stronger now.

Who is the best opponent that youíve shared a ring with? (Former Welsh welterweight champion) Tony Doherty, in sparring. Heís unreal, so talented with his balance and head movement. Even when heís fat and out of shape he doesnít get hit.

All time favourite fighter: Manny Pacquiao. Not only for his qualities as a fighter but also for the way he lives his life, gives half his money away. His whole country loves him.

All time favourite fight: Those Gatti-Ward fights. The ninth round in one of them was the best Iíve seen in my life.

Which current match would you most like to see made? Has to be Pacquiao-Mayweather. Pacquiaoís my hero but I think Mayweather is too good defensively.

What is your routine on fight day? I wonít get up too late, usually before nine. Laying in bed all day just makes you lackadaisical and tired. Provided weíve weighed in the night before, Iíll carb up and re-hydrate, eating potatoes and pasta, and sipping water throughout the day to recover 100%. Iíll usually look to enter the ring around 10st 10 (lbs). Iíll probably watch a bit of TV. I like to turn up at the venue quite early. In the changing room, Iím quite laid back, anxious rather than nervous. I actually yawn a lot and need a kick up the arse to start warming up. As soon as Iím in the ring and that bell sounds Iím okay.

Entrance music: Right now, Iím going through a number of songs, canít put my finger on one. Thereís so much choice. Iím a bit baffled by it.

What are your ambitions as a boxer? I just put all my trust in Gary. Over the next 12 months I just want to be kept busy so that by the end of the year Iím around British title level. I think thatís realistic. Iím not too fussed about the Welsh or Celtic titles but Iíve always wanted that Lonsdale Belt.

How do you relax? I like to spend time with my mates and my son. I also play a lot of XBox. It keeps me occupied, stops me from eating crap!

Football team: Cardiff City. I had trials for them as a left winger when I was a kid and I still go down quite a few times a season.

Read: Iím not a reader......I can read!! Dad gets the Boxing News now and then. I have a look at that.

Music: Bit of everything. Club, R Ďní B...

Films/TV: Iíve always been a comedy guy, anything that puts a smile on my face. I like Jim Carrey and Adam Sandler films. On TV, itís Family Guy and Celebrity Juice.

Aspiration in life: To make life as easy as I can for me and my family. To make a name for myself, be remembered.

Motto: If In Doubt, Flat Out!

Article posted on 23.02.2012



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