Rees eyes title shot
Former champion looking to compete at the highest level again
By Adam Norman - Twitter @SkySportsNorm. Last Updated: 02/10/12 11:49am
Gavin Rees: Confident Matchroom will deliver the big fights (pic leighdawneyphotography.com)
Gavin Rees is hoping promoter Eddie Hearn can get him a world title shot some five years after his first short reign at the top.
It is that long since the Welshman defeated Souleymane M'baye for the WBA light-welterweight title, one that he lost in his first defence 10 months later.
"I think I'm better now, I think everyone feels I'm better. People are saying I'm getting better with every performance."
Gavin Rees Quotes of the week
But he has clawed his way back and currently holds both the British and European lightweight straps.
And while his promoters have several routes to go down, including a potential clash with WBA champion Richard Abril, Rees is in no doubt that he belongs at elite level.
"It's been five years, so it's been a long time to be honest," he told Sky Sports. "It's good, since I teamed up with Matchroom they've got me on Prizefighter, which I won, I've now won British and European titles, so the next step hopefully is the world title.
"I think I'm better now, I think everyone feels I'm better. People are saying I'm getting better with every performance, I'm only 32, and as long as I'm improving I'll go on for as long as I want.
"There are lots of fighters older than me that are still going strong so I feel I've got a good two or three years left in me, hopefully a lot of good fights and ones the British public wants."
Rees admitted that while he once held the title at 140lb he never felt comfortable at the higher weight.
"I knew I wasn't in my real weight-class," he said. "I was never a true light-welterweight. I had a chance to fight for the title, so when I won it I had to defend it.
"It didn't really affect me, I'm a tough guy and I don't take any fights hard, but these are the fights I want to be in, the hard title fights, and I'm ready to do it all again."
Rees successfully defended the titles against Derry Matthews in July, when he overcame an uncharacteristically sluggish start to stop the Liverpudlian in nine rounds.
"I started really slow and then came back strongly and took the fight from him towards the end," he said. "I always start off fast, but he's so tall with such a long reach he was fighting a good fight, but I wore him down in the end and got to him."
Rees is enjoying being part of the Matchroom Boxing promotion team and is confident they can deliver the big fights.
"Eddie's got a lot of top draw fighters and a lot of young fighters coming along now," he added. "It's a great team to be in and they deliver what they promise, not like a lot of other people. When they say it, they mean it.
"It's a good thing being a boxer to know that. With a lot of other British promoters it doesn't happen like that. I'm sure they'll deliver a world title shot eventually."