8:00am Wednesday 7th August 2013
Exclusive By Michael Pearlman
NEWBRIDGE’S former world champion Gavin Rees will fight on, but probably won’t box again in 2013.
The Argus can reveal that Rees, the former WBA light welterweight world champion, has decided against retirement, following successive defeats in 2013.
Rees was beaten for only the second time in a stellar career – stopped in five rounds – by undefeated US sensation Adrien Broner in Atlantic City in February, but then suffered a shock defeat in June against Anthony Crolla in what was essentially a world title eliminator for a future shot at Ricky Burns.
After losing on points to Crolla, Rees, 33, now campaigning at lightweight, indicated that he was giving serious consideration to retirement, having enjoyed 15-years as a professional, with 37 wins from 41 fights.
However, while Rees is ready to continue his career, the Argus can also reveal that the former Prizefighter champion sustained serious injuries in his fight against Crolla.
Rees ruptured the medial ligament in his elbow in the first round of the bout and also broke a bone in his right hand in the fourth.
Despite his injuries, many felt that the Bolton contest, which was won by Manchester’s Crolla on points, 115-113, 116-113, 115-115, could have gone either way.
Rees’ trainer and former stablemate Gary Lockett revealed that his fighter didn’t want to blame injuries for fear of stealing Crolla’s limelight, but has finally confirmed he will box on.
“Gavin’s fighting on but I don’t know when he’ll be back in action because he’s dealing with some injuries at the moment,” he told the Argus.
“Gavin injured his elbow in the first round against Crolla and his hand in the fourth and that is why you barely saw him throw a right hand.
“Gavin had an MRI scan on his elbow which revealed the ruptured ligament and he’s also had minor surgery on his hand since the fight, so he’ll need time to heal.”
On not revealing the injuries, Lockett confirmed: “It wasn’t even really discussed by Gavin and myself in the wake of the fight, Gavin was really disappointed, but we don’t make excuses.
“It’s an old school mentality that we both have, it wouldn’t have been fair to Anthony Crolla to do that and Gavin was the first to congratulate him.
“But I don’t think anyone would dispute Gavin’s ability is better than he showed on that night.”
Both Rees and Lockett have, however, been critical of the television commentary of the battle having watched the fight back.
They, like dozens of Twitter users on the night, felt Rees wasn’t getting due credit.
Lockett has received plenty of phone-calls from people within boxing stating that they also felt the TV coverage did the Welshman a disservice.
“It’s nice for us to know that others agree with our point of view,” he said.
“But ultimately that fight is gone and Gavin is looking to the future.
“We will get him fit and healthy and then see what the future holds.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group