11:02am Saturday 14th December 2013
By Andrew Penman
GWENT boxing stars Gavin Rees and Gary Buckland finally look set to be on collision course after years of speculation.
Rees, the former WBA world light-welterweight champion from Newbridge, and Buckland, the ex-British super-featherweight champ from Newport, could meet in Cardiff on February 1 next year.
The bout has been mooted for a number of years but never come close to happening before now with the European lightweight title at stake.
Both are coming off the back of damaging defeats and see a local showdown at the Motorpoint Arena as a way of reviving their careers.
Rees has lost two fights on the bounce for the first time as a pro, going down to American superstar Adrien Broner for the WBC world lightweight title in February and Manchester’s Anthony Crolla for the vacant WBO inter-continental lightweight belt in June.
Buckland lost his British belt when he was knocked out by Stephen Smith at the Motorpoint Arena in August and hasn’t fought since.
“Gary Buckland’s comeback is highly anticipated and at the moment there is a prospect of him fighting Gavin Rees in Cardiff, which would be amazing for Welsh boxing,” said Buckland’s trainer at St Joseph’s gym in Newport.
“It’s not confirmed yet but it’s a fight that people will be talking about and we’ve been saying it for years so it’s great to see it finally coming together.”
If it does come off the eagerly anticipated bout would be on the same bill as a European shot for Buckland’s St Joes stablemate Lee Selby.
Barry boxer Selby puts his British featherweight title on the line as he takes on Leicester’s Rendall Munroe for the European title.
“Lee Selby will be fighting Rendall Munroe for the European title and he’s really hungry for the fight. He wants it bad,” said Borg.
“I think Lee is certainly European level and come February 1st we could be talking about him being at world level.”
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