Rees plots his answer to The Problem
Updated: Friday, 15 Feb 2013 17:05
Boxing latest entertainer Adrien ‘The Problem’ Broner steps into the ring with Gavin Rees for the WBC lightweight title on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
Broner is renowned for disrespecting opponents and makes quite the entrance to his fight, often wearing a headset rapping to a hip hop tune, while one of the entourage brushes his hair.
And Saturday’s opponent Rees has received the same treatment from the Cincinnati-born champion who has insulted his rival at every opportunity.
Broner (25-0, 21KOs) said this week: "I am not about to miss the boulder on this man's shoulders.
"He is going to be there all night or until I put him to sleep. We are going to be eating ice cream in no time."
But underneath the talk, the American knows former world champion Rees is not to be taken lightly.
"I don't underestimate him," he insisted. "If we stood face-to-face, I probably couldn't see him, but I respect him as a fighter. I respect every fighter because only a boxer knows what we go through once we get into that ring.
"But we don't watch tapes. I've never seen him fight before.
"He is a former champion at light-welterweight. He's coming down in weight so he is used to getting hit by strong fighters."
And Rees has vowed to make the cocky American pay for his disrespect when he bids to cause a massive upset by snatching the lightweight title.
Emerging superstar Broner has tried to wind up the Welsh challenger with his typically antagonistic attitude in the build-up to the fight in New Jersey but deadpan Rees (37-1-1, 18KO wins) has handled the bluster admirably and kept his eyes on the prize.
"I'm going to knock this p**** out on Saturday night and I can't wait," said the massive 19-1 outsider.
"His attitude stinks. He shows fighters no respect, but he hasn't even earned the right to do that.
"What has he done? I've been in the States for five weeks now and American boxing fans don't like him. They tell me they hope I beat him and shut him up.
"I think he acts like a fool for no reason and no-one really likes that.
"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."
Broner's career has exploded in recent fights, with his stoppage of Antonio DeMarco last time out particularly eye-catching.
But former WBA light-welterweight champion Rees, 32, has only ever lost one fight - to Andriy Kotelnik - and the Newport man believes he is being underestimated by the 23-year-old.
"I've never been stopped," he said. "I can take him out in the first round, but I am ready to go into deep water if I have to.
"Ether 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."