Adrien “The Problem” Broner, coming off a very impressive performance against Antonio DeMarco, continued his march towards world domination and, as expected, easily disposed of an outmatched Gavin Rees, in a fight with no real point other than to keep Broner busy and in the spotlight. Rees was reportedly not the intended target and became the opponent of choice only after WBO lightweight titlist Ricky Burns demanded too much money to face Broner. HBO and others tried to hype this as a legitimate challenge for boxing’s next big star, but anyone with half a brain knew Rees had no chance.
Perhaps aware that a completely one-sided beat-down would do no one much good, Broner started slowly, allowing an aggressive Rees to come forward and get his punches off. Showing admirable courage and willingness to mix it up, Rees clearly won the first round and more than held his own in the second. But in round three “The Problem” started presenting itself, as it were, as Rees’ shots had done no damage and Broner proved simply too big, too strong and too powerful for his opponent. Broner scored with lightning combinations and then dominated in the fourth, notching a knockdown with a vicious uppercut. Between rounds Rees’ corner tried to surrender but the game Welshman refused and displayed tremendous heart in the fifth before getting decked again by a left hook to the liver. Rees was on his feet and taking a pummeling when his corner threw in the towel and referee Earl Brown complied with the surrender.
This was as close to a pointless fight as you can get for a major HBO event with Sakio Bika‘s decision win over Nikola Sjekloca on the undercard being far more consequential (The tough Bika is now the mandatory challenger for Andre Ward.) and it’s fortunate for everyone that Rees was game enough to make it interesting. It’s fairly obvious what needs to happen now. If a match can’t be made in the near future with Burns, Broner, who appears to be a welterweight disguised as a 135 pounder, needs to move up and face some stiffer competition. Broner vs. the winner of Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado II would be a huge match but, sadly for fight fans, remains highly unlikely. Anyone for Broner vs. Lucas Matthysse?