FORMER light-welterweight world champion Gavin Rees can’t wait to retire – so he can get fat!
The 34-year-old from Newbridge, who won his world title back in 2007, brings the curtain down on his 16-year professional boxing career in Cardiff tomorrow night.
Rees is determined to win his rematch with St Joseph’s fighter Gary Buckland and avenge a split decision loss in February.
But after the final bell he can’t wait to indulge in all the tempting treats that a pro boxer has to forgo.
“This is definitely my last fight,” said Rees. “I was 34 last weekend, injuries have been rancid to my body and there’s only so many you can take.
“I've got interests outside boxing; I run a gym and a bar and I can live a nice peaceful life rather this stupid diet I'm on.
“I’m looking forward to eating everything! I’m going to make myself a nice pie and chips and no lettuce leaf on the side – not going to do that anymore. My belly will grow but so what? It’s been like this for years. I’m quite happy to relax now.
“When you're on a diet there’s only so many things you can have and none of them are nice. It's just the grind of 25 years doing the same thing. But now I'll be able to relax with my kids and enjoy myself.
“It’s hard work putting on the television and seeing a can of pop or pizza. When you've been eating chicken and veg for so long it's very plain and very bland and you can crave anything.
“It’d be nice to have an ice cream in this hot weather or a can of ice-cold Coke. But you've got to be professional and stick to it.
“Sometimes you have the odd slip but I'm in good shape and ready for the weigh-in and the fight.”
And Rees, known throughout the sport as The Rock, is looking forward to a post-fight celebration in his new bar in Pant tomorrow night.
“I bought a little place for the gym but the pub was on the front and I opened it up,” he explained.
“It's been really busy and I'm going to do a few amateur boxing shows and hopefully bring a few boys through the ranks.
“It’s called The Rock's Bar and I'm the only person on the estate who hasn't had a pint in it yet! On Saturday night, I'll be back on the coach and having a celebratory drink up there.
“I can't get banned, can I? So that's good.”