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Page last updated at 23:12 GMT, Friday, 9 April 2010 00:12 UK

Slimmed-down Gavin Rees wins Abdoulaye Soukouna clash

Gavin Rees
Welsh boxer Gavin Rees has lost just one of his 33 professional fights

Gavin Rees battled to a six-round points win over French journeyman Abdoulaye Soukouna at Alexandra Palace.

The victory extends the Welshman's impressive record to 32 wins (14 stoppages) against a single defeat.

Newbridge's ex-WBA light-welterweight champion, 29, has dropped back down to lightweight under new trainer Gary Lockett and gained vital ring time.

The bout was Rees' second regular fight in two years, though he won December's light-welterweight Prizefighter.

Barry Hearn, the promoter behind the Prizefighter series, has agreed a fight-by-fight deal with Rees.

606: DEBATE

The Welshman won the WBA world crown by shocking Souleymane M'baye in Cardiff in July 2007, but lost in his first defence to Andriy Kotelnik in March 2008.

Rees has since beaten journeyman Johnny Greaves in a six-rounder at Newport, and has now added the scalp of 29-year-old Soukouna, who has nine wins and nine defeats from 23 fights.

"Gavin is looking in really good shape," said Lockett ahead of the Soukouna bout, on the undercard of Audley Harrison's dramatic European heavyweight title win over Michael Sprott.

"He is the lightest he has been for about four to five years.

"We have got him down to lightweight safely and he is good to go.

"We have been doing a lot of strength and conditioning work as well as stepping up running and sprints.

"But Gavin is a former world and Prizefighter champion that needs to be fighting for titles, British or European, and this fight is hopefully a stepping stone to bigger and better things."



see also
Last-gasp Harrison stops Sprott
09 Apr 10 |  Boxing
Rees prepares for Ally Pally date
15 Mar 10 |  Boxing
A boxing dynasty ends
13 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Coach Calzaghe 'taking a break'
12 Mar 10 |  Boxing
Rees cool on Las Vegas title talk
08 Jan 10 |  Boxing
Rees storms to Prizefighter crown
04 Dec 09 |  Boxing
Rees stopped in WBA title defence
22 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' boxing world champions
25 Mar 08 |  Boxing
Wales' pugilist princes
15 May 09 |  Boxing
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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