Gavin Rees has four massive UK clashes in his sights after he defends his European lightweight title against Anthony Mezaache, on March 17 in Paris, live on Sky Sports.
Rees won the vacant belt in June against Andy Murray in Cardiff and his first defence against Derry Mathews in October ended prematurely when Mathews sustained a broken nose from a clash of heads.
The Welshman is determined to impress when he faces former European champ Mezaache in his backyard of Paris, and Rees believes that a sparkling performance could land him a match with WBO champ Ricky Burns in a bid to become a two-weight World champion.
“I would love to fight Ricky Burns this year,” said Rees. “There are other big UK fights out there too with John Murray, Anthony Crolla and Kevin Mitchell and I think they are cracking contests that would really catch fire with the public and draw a big crowd in Wales.
“It’s a great division to be involved in and as the European champion and a former World champion, I feel I am ahead of those guys.
“But for those fights to come off I need to beat Mezaache and beat him well. I’m not looking beyond him because that would be dangerous, but I do believe I’m out of his league and I will show that in Paris.”
Rees has found a new lease of life under the guidance of trainer Gary Lockett and the 31 year-old is looking to convert that into another World title three years after claiming the WBA light welterweight crown. Rees’ promoter Eddie Hearn believes Rees can reach that peak once more and could take on his UK rivals in some big nights in the process now he has got past his injury niggles.
“Gavin looks fantastic in the gym and I think he is ready to unleash a lot of frustration out in Paris,” said Rees’ promoter Eddie Hearn. “Fights with the likes of Burns, Murray, Mitchell and Crolla are all big occasions and the sort of contests that Gavin wants to be involved in. He needs to win well in France but if he does that, the rest of 2012 looks very exciting for him.”