Rees outclassed by Broner
Gavin Rees came up well short against rising star Adrien Broner, who retained his WBC lightweight title with a fifth-round stoppage in Atlantic City.
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There was plenty of needle in the lead-up to the fight and that was perhaps in the 32-year-old Welshman's mind as he came racing out of the blocks.
But he had nothing to hurt Broner, the cocky 23-year-old who justified his pre-fight trash talk by twice sending Rees to the canvas before the Welshman's corner called a halt to proceedings.
"He's the best I've been in with. He's world champion for a reason," Rees told Sky Sports 2. "He's already grown into a superstar.
"I made a lot of mistakes. My skillset's a lot better than that so I'm disappointed in a way.
"He was catching me with some great shots and the gameplan went out of the window. When you're stunned you don't think properly.
"I'm a warrior, I'm always going to get back up. I'd have carried on until he knocked me out cold."
Rees did all the work in round one, but Broner - whose shots were less regular but far more powerful - was unperturbed and demonstrated it with some trademark showboating in the second.
By the third there were signs Rees was already tiring himself out and he took a sustained barrage of hits to the head on the ropes just before the bell.
And any doubt which way the fight would go was erased in the fourth when Broner sent Rees crashing to the canvas with a huge right uppercut.
To his credit, Rees got back to his feet and even tried some showboating of his own in the fifth, but, though Rees had heart, Broner had an abundance of class and a shot to the body sent Rees to his knees - though there was a touch of controversy about it as he seemed to think the referee had called break.
Again the Welshman kept going, but with the shots raining in the trainer Gary Lockett waved the towel to signal the end and spare his man further punishment.
Broner, who said he would look to face Scotland's Ricky Burns next, said: "He's tough as a steak that's been cooked too long. He's real tough.
"Two world class fighters fighting, he put on a great show."