Gary Lockett, the trainer of Gavin Rees believes the Welshman has won the first battle with Adrien Broner – dominating the fast-talking champ in the trash talk stakes ahead of their WBC lightweight title clash at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Saturday (February 16).
Lockett has leant his words of wisdom to Rees in their extensive New York training camp ahead of his clash with Broner and the former middleweight contender has urged his charge to be confident in the mental approach the pair honed in the Big Apple.
“This is Gavin’s 40th fight and he brings a wealth of experience to Atlantic City – that’s a fact that has been overwhelmingly overlooked,” said Lockett. “It has been said that he should never have taken the fight. What a stupid statement to make as he sits at number six in The Ring magazine rankings – testament to the fact that Gavin has both earned and deserves this shot! Broner tried to get under Gavin’s skin at the press conference on Tuesday with some childish and disrespectful antics, but Gavin had all the answers. Gavin outwitted him and he hated every minute of it.”
The road to Rees’ shot at a second World title can be traced back to ‘The Rock’ teaming up with Lockett in March 2010. Along with Rees, Lockett’s gym in Cardiff is home to rising stars Lewis Rees, Liam Williams and recent Betfair Prizefighter runner-up Dale Evans, former WBO, European and British cruiserweight champion Enzo Maccarinelli and former European middleweight champion Kerry Hope. Lockett’s reputation as a trainer in Britain is blossoming but he remains focused on getting the best out of his boys.
“We get on really well but it’s no secret that Gavin used to be a party animal,” said Lockett. “When he approached me and asked me to train him I read him the riot act. He responded with a remarkable attitude and discipline toward his training that has led him to the shot at Broner on Saturday and I can only praise him – he’s a joy to work with. It also helps that he has a very good team around him with Renzo Algieri brought on board as nutritionist and Bill Wilson of Muscle Finesse who provides sports supplements for all the boxers and is in partnership with me in the development of the state-of-the-art gym.
“It’s flattering that people are saying really nice things about me but truth be told, I’ve got a lot to learn and I find the best way possible is to learn from my fighters. You have to learn from every fighter’s habits and there’s no one magic formula that works for everyone – you have to work with them day in, day out to get it right for them.”