by Paul Strauss:: Saturday night at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J. Adrien “The Problem” Broner 26-0-0 (22 KOs) surprised no one by scoring a punishing win over the much smaller and out-gunned Gavin Rees 37-2-1 (18 KOs). Not many people gave Rees the proverbial “snowball’s chance in hell”. In fact, HBO’s Max Kellerman stated Rees was an 80 to 1 underdog. To Rees’ credit, though, he tried like hell to make a fight of it, but he just did not have the size, necessary skill or power to be a serious threat to Broner. Initially, Rees made a pest out of himself by shrinking his already short 5’4″ stature to about 3’6″, trying to get under Broner’s shots, so he could get close enough to land some of his own. He managed to get through with some pretty good left hooks to the body. He tried to follow those with clubbing rights to the side and top of Broner’s head, but the angle, due to Broner’s shoulder roll, proved to be a difficult one. Rees just couldn’t get any zip on those shots. Despite that, the referee warned him about the location of his punches?
The only redeeming factor in the bout was Rees’ display of heart and courage. Even though he was totally outsized and outclassed, he fought on hoping for a miracle. It was not to be. Broner did as expected. He started slowly, timing Rees, waiting for his countering opportunities. Early on Rees was able to block Broner’s check hooks, but before too long a couple got across. Those hard shots immediately made Rees less mobile. All of a sudden, his head became more stationary, and although he was bent over, his body was there to be hit as well.
Broner would push down on Rees’ back, and it was during a couple of those exchanges that Rees violated the “protect yourself at all times” rule. Apparently, he expected the referee to step in and break them. As a result, he relaxed. Broner seized the opportunity by taking a half step back and then ripping a hard left hook to the body. That accounted for the 2nd knockdown that occurred in the fifth round. The first came in the fourth round when Broner dropped Rees with a beautiful right uppercut. Rees never saw it.
It was the beginning of the end. For Broner, though, it wasn’t enough that he was bigger, faster, stronger and more skilled. No, he felt it necessary to engage in rough house tactics. He pushed, held, elbowed and so forth. He would obstruct Rees’ vision by shoving out and keeping out his extended left in the defenseless Rees’ face. Rees’ vision was blocked, so he couldn’t see the hard right that followed.
On the Inside Broner would use the right glove to do the same type of thing, only this time it would conceal the left hook. By the fourth round, Broner was landing hard single shots, including the type of lead right Mayweather Jr. made famous. By the fifth, and after the second knockdown, he sensed the end was near. He started ripping off lightning combinations, sapping the remaining strength out of Rees. Even though Rees was a sitting duck, he still wasn’t ready to fold up his tent and leave. His corner and the referee had to do it for him. Officially, the end came at 2:59 of the fifth round. a TKO victory for the WBC lightweight title.
As expected, Broner got his win, but what did he really accomplish? He beat a fighter everyone expected him to beat. One good revelation came from HBO ringside commentator and future hall of famer Roy Jones, Jr. He shared an interesting observation, when he pointed out Rees showed everyone Broner can be hit. Rees just didn’t have sufficient power to make it count. It’s doubtful anyone in the depleted lightweight division has it either. That’s a shame, because Broner is one of those guys fans love to hate. He cultivates that image by down grading his opponents, and making outlandish claims about himself.
He also engages in childish attempts at trying to be clever. For example, when asked what he thought about Saturday night’s fight, he muttered something like “same shit…..different toilet”. Comments like that and other examples of his insulting behavior conjure up thoughts of a different kind of shit…….a dipshit!