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Page last updated at 06:25 GMT, Thursday, 30 July 2009 07:25 UK

Slimmed down Rees eyes redemption

Gavin Rees
Gavin Rees says he has cut out the fast foods for a healthy-eating regime

Former world champion Gavin Rees says a more scientific approach to training will get him back to the top.

The Newbridge man, 29, has not fought since losing his WBA light-welterweight belt to Andreas Kotelnik in March 2008.

He will return at lightweight against Swansea's Damian Owen in Newport Leisure Centre on 21 August.

"I can eat three or four times a day, before I didn't think it was possible," said Rees, who admits that fast food used to be a key part of his diet.

"Before I lost the title I was taking things easy, I thought that I was unbeatable.


"No I've got a dietician on board [and I was] 10-and-a-half stone four-and-a-half weeks before the fight, I've never been so light.

"I've got lots of energy in the gym, I'm running twice a day - I'm in the best shape of my career."

The Kotelnik defeat at the Cardiff International Arena is the only setback in Rees' 28-fight career.

The Enzo Calzaghe-trained fighter won the belt with a shock victory over Souleymane M'Baye in Cardiff in July 2007.

At the higher weights it was hard to... show people how good I am

Gavin Rees

"Being this long out of the ring makes me more motivated," Rees told BBC Sport Wales.

"I feel strong at lightweight, I'm back down to my own division and hope to have a good few stoppages.

"At the higher weights it was hard to do that and show people how good I am.

"I want to step back down and show everyone my power - I had a good couple of years when I was last at lightweight.

"I hope to put on a good show on the 21st then target a British or European title - I'll fight anyone with a name, to be honest.

"I will probably be ranked quite highly. Now that Amir Khan's moved up there's only John Murray and Jon Thaxton [for the British title].

"I can't wait for the future with Team Calzaghe."

Rees' 24-year-old opponent Owen has 11 wins and two defeats on his record.

The Newport fight night - also featuring the likes of Bradley Pryce and Tony Doherty - marks the relaunch of Calzaghe Promotions, fronted by Enzo and his son Joe.

Their first show was in Merthyr in February, but since then two further events have been cancelled, the Calzaghes blaming the current financial crisis.

They have now linked up with a company called Triple S Sports and Entertainment Group, run by the former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd and the football agent Paul Stretford.

see also
Rees joins up Calzaghe Promotions
07 Apr 09 |  Boxing
Rees stopped in WBA title defence
22 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Rees claims world title success
21 Jul 07 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing history in photos
24 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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