Five years left for me, says Gary Buckland

BATTLE: Gary Buckland, left, in action against Stephen Smith last year

BATTLE: Gary Buckland, left, in action against Stephen Smith last year

First published in Sport
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ST JOSEPH’S star Gary Buckland says he has a maximum of five years left before he follows Gavin Rees into retirement.

Newbridge boxer Rees, a former world champion, is to hang up his gloves at the age of 34 after Saturday’s rematch with Buckland.

But 27-year-old Buckland says he has given himself another five years to achieve his goals.

“I’ll fight on until I’m 30, 31 or 32 and if I haven’t achieved everything I want to by then I don’t think I will. That’s the time to do it in,” said the former British super-featherweight champion.

“I’ve been putting in the hard work, like I do for all my fights, but I’ve trained hard for this rematch with Gavin.”

Buckland won the first meeting between the pair via a split decision at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in February and Saturday’s rematch at the same venue is hotly anticipated, especially as it will be Rees’ last hurrah.

“The last one was supposedly a British title eliminator but this fight doesn’t need that because it is the big rematch,” said Buckland’s manager Brian Powell.

But, while his opponent looks forward to putting his feet up, Buckland is predicting a big future for himself in the lightweight division.

“All I want is to get this one over with and then I’m looking at some big names at lightweight like Ricky Burns, Anthony Crolla, Derry Matthews and Tommy Coyle,” he said.

“The other option is to look at super-featherweight again. I only need one more defence to win it outright.

“I’ll box anyone in the country, even at light welterweight. If the fight is there to be made I’m up for it.”

Buckland was knocked out by Stephen Smith in Cardiff last August in his third defence of his British super-feather belt but bounced back with victory over Rees in February.

Buckland v Rees II is on the same bill as Lee Selby’s official eliminator for the WBC featherweight title against Romulo Koasicha.

Cefn Fforest ace Nathan Cleverly also makes his debut at cruiserweight and Mitchell Buckland and Robbie Turley are in action on the undercard.

Tickets can be purchased from Buckland on 07826175746 or Powell on 07821004684.

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