Adrien Broner defends his WBC lightweight title on Saturday night at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City against Welshman Gavin Rees. As always, the 23-year old champion is confident in yet another sweet victory to keep his unblemished record alive.
The charismatic Broner (25-0, 21 KO's) was heavily criticized for twice failing to make weight against Vicente Escobedo last July following his proclaimed addiction to Twinkies via Twitter during training camp. It made no difference as Broner's skills, size, speed and power completely overwhelmed Escobedo in a one-sided five round beat down.
This has been Broner's first training camp since Twinkie manufacturer Hostess announced in November that it was going out of business.
"They took away my Twinkies during this camp," Broner said at the final press conference this week in reference to the Hostess closure.
Broner may be denied his Twinkies but is not expected to experience any withdrawals that would impact his performance, especially against the 32-year old Rees (37-1-1, 18 KO's). Fans had been hoping for their own treat in the form of a unification bout with WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns instead, but there didn't seem to be enough honey to attract serious negotiations between two of the top bees in the division.
Rees, a former WBA light welterweight champion and British and European lightweight titleholder, will be making his first U.S. appearance and only second outside of the United Kingdom. While he stopped Frenchman Anthony Mezaache as a visitor in France last March in the seventh round, fighting the talented Broner in an HBO televised world championship bout in Atlantic City is a different flavor altogether.
"Who has he fought? I've seen his fights and half of those guys just stood in front of him letting him dictate the pace of the fight. I'm not going to let him do that," said Rees.
"I've never been stopped. I can take him out in the first round, but I am ready to go into deep water if I have to," Rees went onto say at the final press conference. "Either way, I have trained hard and will be ready to dictate the pace of the fight and not let him get away with a lot of what other fighters have let him do."
Forget the Twinkies. There is probably not enough spinach in the world for Rees to consume that would enable him to take out the elusive and skillful Broner in the first round. The pressure fighter Rees is at a seven-inch reach disadvantage which will make it difficult for him to get inside. He will not only have to stay busy (something he has not always been able to consistently sustain over the course of a full fight), he will also need to tighten up his defense and be less reckless when firing his shots to remain competitive throughout the contest.
Otherwise, Broner will be satisfying his sweet tooth sooner rather than later.
"We are going to be eating ice cream in no time," said the confident champion.
A victory over Rees will certainly not be the cherry on top and will leave many still craving something other than soft-serve options going forward.
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