By Michael Collins: WBC lightweight champion Adrien Broner (25-0, 21 KO’s) can write his own ticket to a highly visible fight on May 4th on the Floyd Mayweather Jr. undercard on HBO if Broner routes Brit Gavin Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO’s) on February 16th at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Broner, 23, has to destroy Rees while at the same time getting through that fight without suffering a cut. Things like that are hard to predict because even hopelessly over-matched opposition like Rees can cause a cut by a punch, elbow or a clash of heads. These things happen and it’s nearly impossible to avoid.
To make sure that there’s no accidents, Broner needs to rifle through Rees as fast as possible; preferably in a 1st round knockout like the one Broner did against an arguably better fighter than Rees in Jason Litzau. If Broner can jump on the limited Rees in the 1st round and flurry on him there’s a very good chance that Broner will be able to take Rees out almost immediately.
The fact that Broner has to fight a guy like Rees is a huge sign that Broner needs to move up in weight to start facing much better opposition. Broner wanted to fight WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns, but he didn’t want the fight.
So instead of moving up, Broner has decided on fighting a guy that hasn’t been fighting world class opposition in the past four years in Rees. That’s a waste, and I hope it’s not Broner’s promoters that are advising him to waste time fighting weak opposition instead of moving up in weight.
If Broner wants to stay at lightweight then he should at least fight the best guys at this weight like IBF champion Miguel Vazquez, Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere. Those are the best fighters in the division right now. I don’t rate Burns or Rees. Those guys are pretty basic. Burns holds a lot and mostly jabs, and has no power. Rees just plods forward and looks to slug. Neither of them are a competitive match for Broner.