It didn’t take long for WBC lightweight beltholder Adrien “The Problem” Broner and former 140-pound beltholder Gavin Rees to launch verbal vollies at each other during last month’s national conference call with media members in advance of this Saturday’s HBO-televised clash at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
It was Broner (25-0, 21 knockouts), a 23-year-old resident of Cincinnati, Ohio, who got off first against Rees (37-1-1, 18 KOs), a 32-year-old from Wales.
Like always, Broner’s delivery was boastful.
“I’m going to come in fresh, fly and flashy as always. I’m going against a guy who used to be fighting at 140 or something like that, but no disrespect, but I haven’t really heard to much about him. But I know that he’s going to come and fight,” said Broner, a former WBO junior lightweight titletholder who will pursue his sixth straight knockout against Rees.
“Everybody comes to win a world title when they fight for a world title. I’m going to train like I always do, like itt’s the last fight of my life and it’s the biggest fight of my life. It is what it is, man. I’m a two-time, young world champion, and at the age of 23, it isn’t too many people who can say that they’re a two-time world champion. We could fight today, and I’ve been training. Training has been going well.”
In returning to Atlantic City, Broner will be back at the site of his last fight — November’s eighth-round knockout that dethroned Antonio DeMarco on HBO.
“After the DeMarco fight, I was right back in the gym on Monday. So, we’ve been ready, we’re just waiting on opponents. Feb. 16, I want Gavin — I really don’t know his name, I really don’t know this guy. But I just want him to be bring his ‘A’ game,” said Broner.
“Going against Adrien Broner, you have to bring nothing but your ‘A’-game. I just hope that he’s ready and I hope that he’s in shape, because it’s going to be a long night for him. My fights don’t go that long. It’s going to be a helluva a night, and I just want him to bring his ‘A’ game. I want to thank him for taking this fight too.”
Rees is 10-0-1, with five knockouts, including the past two straight, since a 12th-round knockout loss to Andriy Kotelnyk dethroned him as WBA junior welterweight titleholder in March of 2008.
Prior to facing Kotelnyk, Rees, himself, had dethroned Souleymayne M’baye for the crown in July of 2007 in a fight that was considered a major upset.
Rees expressed supreme confidence, although his initial comments were brief.
“It’s going to be a long night for you, brother,” said said Rees.to Broner. “And I want to thank you for keeping my belt warm.”
Reese and Broner will be part of a 1 p.m. New York press conference on Tuesday at the B.B. King Blues Club and Grill on 42 street.
Photos by Naoki Fukuda
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org