Gavin Rees says he is in perfect shape as he prepares to defend his European Lightweight title against Derry Mathews at the Newport Centre tomorrow night, live on Sky Sports.
Rees claimed the title in April with a points win over previously unbeaten Irishman Andy Murray and the 31 year-old believes that if he can defend the belt against the Liverpudlian he will close in on a World title shot.
The Newbridge star held the WBA Light-Welterweight crown in 2007 and after starting afresh under new trainer Gary Lockett and he believes that he is ready to top the World once again.
“I’m feeling fantastic ahead of the fight, I cannot wait to get in there,” said Rees at today’s weigh-in at Tredegar House in Newport. “This is probably the best I’ve felt before a fight before and I think people will see the best of me tomorrow night. Derry’s a good fighter and a tough guy but I’m not going to let this title go as I can smell another World title shot.”
Rees tipped the scales at 9st 8lb 3oz, with the 27 year-old challenger a shade heavier at 9st 8lb 5oz. Mathews is bringing a strong support from Merseyside tomorrow on a big day for the city with Everton and Liverpool facing each other at lunchtime, and Mathews believes he can pull off a shock to cap the day.
“I don’t have a problem being the underdog, I’d prefer people to underestimate me,” said Mathews. “I’m fresh, I’m confident and I know I will cause Gavin big problems tomorrow. It’s going to be a great fight and I know I’m going to take that belt back to Liverpool.”
A limited number of tickets for Gavin Rees vs. Derry Mathews plus a full undercard will be available on the door at the Newport Centre tomorrow priced £30 – doors open at 6pm.
The United States’ Jamel Herring Drops World Championships Opener in Baku
(COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO.) – Team USA suffered its first loss of the 2011 World Championships on Friday as light welterweight Jamel Herring (Coram, N.Y./Camp Lejeune, N.C.) dropped his first round bout to China’s Qing Hu in Baku.
Herring was the sixth U.S. boxer to take the ring in Azerbaijan, and was competing in his first-ever AIBA World Championships. The U.S. Marine kept the bout close through the early going, trailing by a 4-1 margin after the first round. Yet Hu, a 2008 Olympian, pulled away in the second, moving out to a 13-3 advantage with only round remaining. Herring couldn’t dent his deficit in the final round and lost a 20-5 final decision. The loss eliminates Herring from the 2011 World Championships.
Herring took gold in the jam-packed light welterweight division at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Men’s Boxing in Mobile earlier this year to earn a berth on the World Championships squad. Following his loss, the light welterweight division spot will be open at the 2012 USA Boxing National Championships, and the winner of that event will represent the United States at the second and final international Olympic qualifying tournament.
Two American boxers will look to start a new U.S. winning streak on Saturday on the final day of first round competition in Baku. Lightweight Jose Ramirez (Avenal, Calif.) and middleweight Jesse Hart (Philadelphia, Pa.) will face off with Armenia’s Vladimir Sarukhanyan and Qatar’s Hzan Nabah respectively on Saturday. Ramirez will compete in the 2 p.m. session (5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT) and Hart will box in the 5:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT) session. As flyweight Rau’shee Warren (Cincinnati, Ohio) and super heavyweight Lenroy “Cam” Thompson (Lenexa, Kansas) both received first round byes, they will open competition on Sunday.
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 http://www.aiba.org/en-US/2011/2011WorldBoxingChampionships.aspx. AIBA will show live scoring on its website, www.aiba.org throughout the tournament and will start webcasting all the bouts on October 4 at www.aibaboxing.tv. For more information on Team USA, go to www.usaboxing.org. 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.
141 lbs: Qing Hu, CHN, dec. Jamel Herring, Coram, N.Y./Camp Lejeune, N.C./USA, 20-5
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
IABA UPDATE (MOYLETTE ADVANCES AT AIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
IRISH AMATEUR BOXING ASSOCIATION
European champion Ray Moylette turned in a big third round to maintain Ireland’s unbeaten run at the AIBA World Championships and Olympic qualifiers in Azerbaijan today.
The Mayo light-welterweight was 8-7 down going into the third and final frame of his last-64 clash with Arturs Ahmetous of Latvia but hit the target nine times in the final three minutes to post a 16-11 win and make it three wins in-a-row for Ireland in Baku.
Ahmetous was 5-4 up at the end of the first and both boxers shared the second 3-3.
Moylette, who boxes out of the St Anne’s BC, will now meet Manoj Kumar of India in the last-32 on Sunday.
Today’s win means that Ireland will have five boxers in action Sunday.
Moylette, Joe Ward, Roy Sheehan, Michael Conlon and Con Sheehan will be between the ropes.
Darren O’Neill and David Oliver Joyce will be involved in last-64 bouts tomorrow versus Norway and Iran.
O’Neill faces Glodi Eneste in a repeat of the 2009 EU final which the Kilkenny middleweight won 13-2.
Irish team captain Ken Egan, Paddy Barnes and John Joe Nevin will be in action Monday.
2011 AIBA World Men’s Championships Baku, Azerbaijan
52Kg: (last 64) Michael Conlon (St John Bosco) beat Alexandr Riscan (Moldova) 25-12
69Kg: (last 64) Roy Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy) beat Carl Hield (Bahamas) 15-10
64Kg: (last 64) Ray Moylette (St Anne’s) beat Arturs Ahmetous (Latvia) 16-11
October 1st (last 64)
75Kg: Darren O’Neill (Paulstown) v Glodi Eneste (Norway)
60Kg: David Oliver Joyce (St Michael’s Athy) v Mohammad Momevad (Iran)
October 2nd (last 32)
52Kg:Michael Conlon (St John Bosco) v Olzhas Sattibayev (Kazakhstan)
64Kg: Ray Moylette (St Anne’s) v Manoj Kumar (India)
69Kg: Roy Sheehan (St Michael’s Athy) v Borna Katalinic (Croatia)
81Kg: Joe Ward (Moate) v Dilovarshakh Abdurakhmanov (Tajikistan)
91+Kg: Con Sheehan (Clonmel) v Faruth Kalonov (Tajikistan)
October 3rd (last 32)
49Kg: Paddy Barnes (Holy Family) v Mark Barriga (Philippines)
56Kg: John Joe Nevin (Cavan) v Akhil Kumar (India)
91Kg: Ken Egan (Neilstown) v Jose Larduet Gomez (Cuba)