Broner vs. Rees: Victory for 'The Problem' Will Cement Him as Division's Best
As the WBC lightweight champion, Adrien Broner is already at the top of his division, but he can cement his place with a victory over Gavin Rees on Saturday night in Atlantic City.
Broner (25-0) won his belt after disposing of former champion Antonio DeMarco last November with an eighth-round TKO that helped fully establish him as a stud in the lightweight division.
Before his win over DeMarco, Broner had handled other top fighters mostly from the super featherweight division. His credibility as a lightweight fighter is no doubt respectable, but "The Problem" is still building his legacy in the division.
His opponent in this bout, Rees (37-1-1), stands in Broner's way and could end The Problem's championship campaign rather quickly.
The 32-year-old has won his last two bouts and enters this fight with a ton of momentum as he tries to capture the lightweight crown and his second career world title. Rees has far more experience as a lightweight fighter than Broner.
The Problem may be a heavy favorite in this contest, but the relative unknown that is Rees could present a problem for Broner.
Rees has never fought in the states before but has an impressive resume overseas. If one international fighter can challenge Broner and give him a run for his money, it's Rees.
In fact, even Broner has admitted he doesn't know much about Rees, per George Willis of the New York Post:
I really don’t know this guy. I just want him to bring his 'A' game because if you want to get things just right you have to bring nothing but your ‘A’ game. I just hope he’s ready and I hope he is in shape because it’s going to be a long night.
Clearly, Broner isn't underestimating his opponent, which is important to avoid a letdown. However, Rees will bring an unpredictable element with him into this fight, so the chance remains that he can pull off an upset.
Who will win this fight?
Besides, a man with Rees' outstanding record must be respected as a top competitor in the lightweight division.
If Broner goes ahead and takes care of business against Rees, it will be yet another major victory for the 23-year-old. At this early stage of his career, The Problem will have already beaten the best this continent has to offer as well as the best the world has to offer.
A decisive victory for Broner would be a major stepping stone toward Broner gaining legendary status in the lightweight division.
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