Adrien Broner will defend his WBC lightweight title against British and European champion Gavin Rees at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on February 16, 2013 to be televised on HBO. BoxRec currently also lists Broner as fighting again (opponent TBA) on May 4 at the MGM Grand which is expected to feature Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s return to the ring with Canelo Alvarez on the undercard. While the entire May 4 card is not yet confirmed, this potential arrangement carries a certain sense of déjà vu.
Things did not exactly go according to plan the last time Golden Boy Promotions looked ahead to a future fight. Not only was Victor Ortiz unable to get through massive underdog Josesito Lopez last June which would have directly led him to a scheduled bout with Alvarez in September, a broken jaw suffered in the fight has kept Ortiz out of the ring and raises questions regarding the future of his career.
Assuming Broner (25-0, 21 KO's) is in fact placed on the May 4 card, it essentially tells us that little regard is being given to Rees' (37-1-1, 18 KO's) capability of either defeating or injuring the talented young champion. It could conceivably take longer than three months for even a deep cut to be fully healed, something that might not even be contemplated as a realistic possibility at this point.
Broner, with far superior speed, skills and defense than Ortiz, is not expected to fall victim to an upset loss at the hands of the 32-year old Welshman who will be making his U.S. debut. In fact, this will be only the second fight Rees will have had outside of the United Kingdom, his first took place in France this past March. A relative unknown to those other than the most ardent fans, Rees is aggressive but hittable and has never faced anyone remotely close to the level of Broner.
Why then is this fight even taking place?
Lopez showed that anything is possible on any given night, especially when given additional motivation. Against Broner, Rees will likely need more than that to prove that we (and Golden Boy) have already been through this before.
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