24th March 2012

Gavin Rees produced a assured display in France on Friday night to retain his European lightweight title in style, stopping Anthony Mezaache’s in his backyard, via a seventh round stoppage in Paris, which was Rees’ first fight abroad. 

The Welshman in the second defence of his title took control of the fight from the opening bell and constantly pressured his challenger. Big right hands thudded off Mezaache and Rees looked compelled to force a stoppage. Both clashed heads in third round which left the Frenchman with a nasty cut on his forehead. His corner managed to stem the blood flow, which kept their man in the fight.
Rees, 31, controlled the fight behind a good and looked like a different fighter to the one who struggled to get to grips with Derry Mathews in his last fight. Mixing it up to head and body with some tidy work. A big right from Rees floored the Frenchman early in the finishing session, he rose to beat the count, but looked ready to be taken out.
Rees didn’t take much longer to cease his chance. Another big back hand backed Mezaache to the ropes, Rees claimed his moment and went in for the finish, another hurtful unanswered attack forced the referee to step in just has the challengers corner had launched the towel into the ring to save Mezaache.
“I felt great, it’s boiling in here. I started jabbing and followed it up with some nice shots on the outside. He didn’t really hurt me tonight, I won every round and stopped him in good fashion,” Rees told Sky Sports.
“I keep telling everyone I can punch at lightweight and I think I showed that tonight. I always seem to dig in when it gets tough.”
Rees will now hope to join the que that are lining up for a shot at fellow Brit. Ricky Burns who currently holds the WBO lightweight title. A fight with British champion Anthony Crolla is also a fight that cannot be dismissed and throw Kevin Mitchell and John Murray into the mix and the British 135lb division looks healthy with big all British fights ahead, hopefully!

By Chris Maylett

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