Adrien “The Problem” Broner (26-0 22KO) kept himself busy and put on a show against determined but flawed Gavin Rees (37-2-1 19KO) by knockout in the fifth round to retain the WBC lightweight title.
However, Rees did well enough in the first two rounds to land punches that we’re not accustomed to seeing Broner getting hit with. Left hooks to the body and overhand rights to the head were what Rees focused on landing. Broner took these shots well though due to the average power of Rees.
Whether this was due to Broner not taking his opponent seriously or Rees finding a hole in Broner’s defense is unclear but what is certain is Broner is going to need to be more defensively responsible against the bigger punchers of the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.
After the second round, Broner seemed to step up his game as he began to use distance to control Rees and back him into the ropes.
In the fourth round, Broner landed a great right uppercut that put Rees on his back. Stunned and clearly wobbled, Rees managed to survive to the end of the round. Rees made the fifth exciting by staying competitive but Broner took his time and landed a razor-like left hook to the body. Rees immediately took a knee.
With his opponent clearly hurt, Broner went for the kill and Rees’ corner threw in the towel to end the fight. After the fight, Broner stated that he would like Ricky Burns to win his bout against Miguel Vazquez so they can fight. He also expressed a desire to simply stay at lightweight and control the division.
Rees expressed disappointment in his performance, citing some mistakes he made and being too aggressive in the third round. Due to his stronger than expected performance, he hopes to get another bout televised on HBO and to eventually get another title shot.