A real Welsh battle took place at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff on Saturday night as Gary Buckland and Gavin Rees shared a gruelling twelve rounds in an early contender for Fight of the Year.
The two former British title holders gave their all for the duration in front of an enthralled crowd in a real back and forth contest, with cases to be made for either Buckland or Rees winning almost all of the rounds.
Rees came on strong early in the fight as both boxers targeted the body from the off, although ‘The Rock’ seemed to use up a lot of his energy reserves in the first four rounds and struggled heading into the second half.
Buckland kept plugging away and finding his shots on the inside as the pair continued to throw punches at will and it was a wonder neither fighter was put on the floor with the amount of leather traded.
In the end, the three judges handed a split win to Buckland 116-113, 115-114, 113-116 on the cards, with the immediate question of a rematch in the air even though Rees admitted he will have to think about his next move first.
The loss represented a third straight for the recent world title challenger, although a second meeting with Buckland may prove to lucrative to turn down for Rees as the fans were left wanting more at the final bell.
Earlier in the night, former English light-middleweight title holder Erick ‘The Eagle’ Ochieng lost out again following his Lonsdale Belt defeat to Liam Smith as he went down 77-76 to the gutsy Dale Evans.
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