Gavin Rees will face John Murray at the London Olympia on December 8, live on Sky Sports on the ‘Christmas Cracker’ bill.
Former light welterweight World champion Rees is hunting a shot at two-weight World rule, and victory over the talented Mancunian Murray on would strengthen his case.
Fireworks are on the cards between the two as Murray makes a welcome return to action a year after facing Brandon Rios for the WBA belt in December 2011. Prior to that contest in New York’s Madison Square Garden, the 27 year old came out on the wrong side of the BBBofC Fight of the Year against Kevin Mitchell in a barnstormer at the Echo Arena in Liverpool in July.
Rees is on a hot streak of form as his new lease of life under trainer Gary Lockett gathers pace. In March this year he travelled to Paris and defended his European title in Anthony Mezaache’s hometown with a seventh round stoppage before a clinical performance against Derry Mathews in Sheffield in July saw him add the British belt to his Euro strap with a ninth round win.
Rees and Murray top the bill on a fantastic night of action with Lee Purdy facing Carson Jones in a tasty international welterweight tussle and former unbeaten European middleweight champ Darren Barker returning to action against Kerry Hope – and promoter Eddie Hearn is delighted he’s matched his Welsh star with Murray.
“I am over the moon to get this fight made,” said Hearn. “It's one that I've wanted to make for a while and one that Gavin wants badly. They say styles make fights and we know what we are going to get with this one – December 8 is going to be an epic night of boxing.”
English light middleweight champion Erick Ochieng will be stepped up a level by Hearn on the bill, while John Ryder fights for his first professional title as he meets English middleweight champion Kreshnik Qato.
There’s a tasty rematch on the bill as Chris Evangelou gets the chance for revenge against Danny Connor, who won the vacant Southern Area light welterweight title at Alexandra Palace in September in a tight classic.
A number of Matchroom Sport’s young guns continue their pro education on the card, with former Team GB stars Scotty Cardle and Martin J. Ward plus unbeaten cruiserweight Wadi Camacho among those set for action.
Tickets for ‘Christmas Cracker’ are on sale now priced £40 unreserved, £60 corner ringside, £80 ringside and £150 VIP. Tickets are available from Matchroom Sport on 01277 359900 and at www.matchroomboxing.com