PROMOTER Eddie Hearn has promised Gavin ‘The Rock’ Rees a huge fight this summer, but only if the European lightweight champion can first enter the Lion’s Den and come out roaring.

The Newbridge puncher, now training with former WBU champion Gary Lockett, will head to Paris on March 23 to face native Anthony Mezaache in his home city live on Sky Sports.

Rees, beaten just once in 35 professional fights, is targeting another run at a world title after shocking the world to win the WBA light-welterweight crown in 2008 and has some mouth-watering pros-pects lined up for 2012.

The lightweight division that Rees has slimmed down for is arguably the most star-studded in the UK and promoter Hearn is hoping to add Rees to the bill of one of the biggest shows in England this year – if he can get the job done in France first.

“Sometimes you can’t be afraid to take big fights abroad, Gavin isn’t overawed about going over there and we have big plans for Gavin after he hopefully wins,” Hearn told the Argus.

“He is a former world champion and would like to be again but if the big world title fights aren’t there then there are luckily some brilliant domestic fights.

“We have John Murray, Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell and Anthony Crolla and they are four fights we would take for Gavin in a heartbeat if the terms were right.

“But I think the next fight needs to be a really big one, a headline fight and a step up for Gavin and the first date that comes to mind is May 26 where we have a huge show in Nottingham with Carl Froch facing unbeaten IBF world champion Lucian Bute.

“I would love to have Gavin on that bill against any of the four names I mentioned before, Mitchell, Murray, Burns or Crolla.

“They would all be fights worthy of carrying their own shows but bigger, bigger is the aim and that is why I fancy having Gavin on the Froch bill.

“Admittedly the Burns and Mitchell fights will be harder to make because they are both Box Nation (Frank Warren) fighters and I don’t really want my boxers on Box Nation. I wouldn’t stop them if the terms were right, but it is not really where I want to go with them.

“So the Crolla and Murray fights would be easier to make. Murray is with Frank Warren also but he doesn’t have a great deal of options at the moment. I think Crolla would fancy the fight, they’d all be great fights because of Gavin.

“The lightweight is a brilliant division, probably the best in Britain, where you also almost have a super six situation developing with these five guys all legitimately being talked of in terms of being potential world champions. I think you need that interaction, in the next two years they’ll all be fighting each other hopefully.”

Hearn insists he has no reservations about sending Rees abroad for the first time in his career.

“We got offered a fight with Burns but it didn’t make sense at the time because the terms were terrible so instead we’ve taken this fight and we believe it’s the best move,” he said.

“We want Gavin out three times this year at least and expect a big year for him.

“The fight in Paris is a great opportunity and I am looking forward to it. It’s like an away day in football terms and there will be a lot of support for Gavin’s opponent but it’s a big fight live on Sky and a chance, I think, for Gavin to build his profile a little bit.

“He’s a former world champion and current European champion and Gavin sometimes gets swallowed up by the publicity machine of Mitchell and Burns, but in my opinion Gavin has achieved more than both of those guys, he needs a big fight to get the same respect.

“Gavin is not a huge ticket seller but the flip side of that is he doesn’t moan if he’s not fighting in Cardiff or Newport, he is willing and ready to travel and he deserves some bigger and better nights ahead.

“Gavin is a warrior who is willing to fight anywhere and this was the right fight for him with the right terms and he had no problem taking it. It could be the making of him.”