Gavin ‘The Rock’ Rees will look to return to winning ways in his Anglo-Welsh clash with Anthony Crolla at the Bolton Arena on Saturday.
Despite eventually being outclassed and stopped by Adrien Broner, Rees put in a good effort and did his reputation no harm in Atlantic City. His desire and application are usually first class and the manner in which he set about Broner from the first bell showed he really thought he could win. It’s these strong characteristics plus his experience that make me think he will not be overlooking the ‘million dollar’ Crolla on Saturday night.
Rees did of course this time last year, dispose of Crolla’s arch rival and nemesis – Derry Mathews with a 9th round TKO so a similar result could be on the cards. Mathews is a fighter who has both beaten and drawn with Crolla. A defeat would certainly spell the end of any ambitions for another world title shot. His diminutive frame may be an advantage as he’s good at getting his shots off on the inside in quick flurries and Crolla often embroils himself in inside close quarter exchanges. The two styles could make for an entertaining match.
Crolla is a tough competitor and many of his fans will be thinking there is value in his odds at 13/2 over the distance but I just think Rees will be too busy and high tempo and outwork him if it goes the distance- after all he has never lost to a domestic level fighter. Rees has been in with some heavy hitters and can take a good shot, so this coupled with Crolla’s low 30% knockout percentage tells me that Rees should come out on top here.