Gavin Rees has received a boost from promoter Eddie Hearn ahead of his European lightweight title defence against Derry Mathews on Saturday, after he revealed he was in talks for a World title shot for the Welshman.
Rees and Mathews meet again for the belt live on Sky Sports 1HD at the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield after their first fight in Newport in October was halted in the third when Mathews broke his nose in a head clash. Their fight, also for Mathews’ British title, is the chief support bout on the Betfair ‘Edge of Glory’ bill featuring Kell Brook’s official IBF welterweight title eliminator with Carson Jones.
Both men have recorded fine wins since their first clash – Rees defending the belt in Paris against Anthony Mezaache and Mathews taking the British title from Anthony Crolla in Oldham – and Rees’ promoter Hearn said that the Welshman is in line for a second World title tilt if he can see off the Liverpool fighter.
“I am in discussions for a major World title fight in October for Gavin,” confirmed Hearn. “You can never look past Derry, who was superb against Crolla, but victory will set Gavin should seal the deal and it’s a massive boost for him ahead of a tough night in Sheffield.”
Rees won the WBA light welterweight title in 2007 and has set his sights on becoming a two-weight World champion since rebuilding his career with trainer Gary Lockett and capturing the European title against Andy Murray a year ago.
“I hope this is the last fight at domestic and European level most definitely,” said Rees. “I’ve got a good ranking with most of the governing bodies now. I promised Derry the rematch and here we are, but hopefully I can get through this one with a good win and then move on to an eliminator, interim or World title shot.”
“Derry was terrific against Anthony,” said Rees. “In the fight before that he lost in the IBO challenge to Emiliano Marsili and he got stopped badly so not many people backed him to beat Crolla. But he put in a massive performance against Crolla who is being tipped to be the next big thing, so we're both coming in on the back of good wins and I'm sure he's confident just like I am.
“We had a little warm-up last time, it was nip and tuck until the injury so it should be a good one tonight. I rushed in too much in the first round against Derry and he picked me off. I know I won the second and third rounds as the judges had me ahead so I have a good idea how to beat him but I also know he'll come with a plan to beat me and won't die wondering, so it should be a cracker.”
Tickets for Kell Brook vs. Carson Jones are on sale now priced £30, £40, £60, and £100 from the Motorpoint Arena Sheffield box office on 0114 256 5656 and at www.motorpointarenasheffield.com
VIP packages will be sold exclusively by Matchroom Sport priced £150 on 01277 359900 or at www.matchroomboxing.com. The package includes inner ringside seating (front seven rows), pre-fight party from 5.30pm-8pm with complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks and canapés. (The bar will stay open as a pay bar after 8pm.)