by R. McCarson
Welshman Gavin “The Rock” Rees (35-1-1, 16 KOs) will go to the hometown of Frenchman Anthony Mezaache (21-6-3, 6 KOs) to defend a regional title. The bout will take place at the Clichy la Garenne in Hauts-de-Seine, France on Friday, March 23rd and will air live on Sky Sports.
Both fighters are in their early thirties, but Rees comes into this bout with a bit more experience and is the titleholder. The BBC reported that Rees is looking to fight Ricky Burns later this year.
“I would love to fight Ricky Burns this year…There are other big UK fights out there too with John Murray, Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell…It’s a great division to be involved in and as the European champion and a former World Champion, I feel I am ahead of those guys.”
That said, Rees is not overlooking his upcoming bout on Saturday. The BBC quoted a confident Rees, who refers to his opponent as “kid” even though Mezaache is two years his senior.
“I’d fight anybody anywhere and this fight with Mezaache proves it. I’m not looking beyond him because that would be dangerous, but I do believe I’m out of his league and I will show that in Paris. I’m 100% better than this kid in every department, he’s a scruffy sort of fighter but nothing he does worries me to be honest.”
Rees held the WBA junior welterweight title when he defeated Souleymane M’Baye by unanimous decision in 2007. In his next bout, he lost the belt to Andriy Kotelnyk in 2008 by TKO, a fight that gave him his first loss on record.
Since that loss, Rees has won eight consecutive fights, while his most recent bout was scored a draw. The wins came mostly against subpar opposition while his last win was against Andy Murray for the vacant European lightweight title. The draw came against Derry Matthews and it was halted in the fourth round due to a clash of heads that left Matthews with a broken nose. All three judges had Rees up two rounds to one, but with less than four rounds boxed, it was a ruled a technical draw.
Mezaache will take on the Welsh prospect in his hometown with the hope of scoring the upset win and taking the EBU lightweight title, a title he previously held when he defeated Andriy Kudryavtsev by unanimous decision in July of ’09.
Since 2009, Mezaache has gone 7-1 with the wins coming against seemingly unskilled competition, although five of the seven were against fighters with winning records. The loss came against Carlos Vinan, who was 9-8-4 at the time. His other five losses came prior to 2007 with a professional career that began in 2003.
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