GAVIN Rees bows out of professional boxing after a glittering 16-year career tonight and he’s desperate to avoid going out on a fourth straight defeat.
The 34-year-old from Newbridge has won British, European and world titles since turning professional with trainer Enzo Calzaghe back in 1998.
But, after successive defeats to Adrien Broner, Anthony Crolla and Gary Buckland, Rees is looking to go out with a win in his rematch with St Joseph’s fighter Buckland tonight.
“I look back with pride as I've obviously been very successful,” said Rees, who won the WBA light-welterweight world title in 2007.
“I’m a British, European and world champion so not to look back on it with pride you'd have to be a fool.
“Everybody says that they dream of a world title when they start but dreaming and doing it is two completely different things.
“Even winning a British is an accomplishment, so to win the European and the world is a massive achievement.
“You don't see it like that when you win it; you just take it in your stride. But when you look back you think, 'Wow, I've done that'. It will be fun looking back at the videos.
“But I’ve lost the last three and I don't want to make that four,” he added.
“I want to be remembered as a winner who won everything. I don’t want to be remembered for losing to people should never have lost to.”
Rees felt he was hard done by with the split decision loss to Buckland at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in February.
But he’s full of respect for the St Joes fighter, himself a former British super-featherweight champ, and he expects another brutal encounter in the same venue tonight.
“There is a lot of respect between me and Gary,” he said. “You saw before the 12th round last time, we had a cwtch in the middle of the ring.
“I don't see why people can't behave like that and be sporting.
“But I hope it doesn’t live up to the first fight because I have to be involved in it! I know how hard it will be.
“We're both tough kids and it's going to be a cracking fight.”