Unbeaten Broner stops Rees to keep boxing title
Undefeated American Adrien Broner stopped Britain's Gavin Rees in the fifth round to retain his World Boxing Council lightweight world crown.
Broner dropped the 32-year-old Welshman to the canvas with right and left uppercuts and landed a ferocious flurry before referee Earl Brown stopped the fight after two minutes and 59 seconds of the fifth round.
"I'm fresh. I'm fly. I'm flashy. I did my job," Broner said. "If they didn't stop the fight he was going to sleep anyway. Rock-a-bye baby."
With a successful first defense of the crown he won last November by stopping Mexican southpaw Antonio DeMarco in the eighth round, the 23-year-old American improved to 26-0 with his 22nd stoppage inside the distance.
Rees fell to 37-2 with one drawn. The former World Boxing Association light welterweight champion gave away size and reach advantages, but pressed the attack early and after being flattened twice.
"That was a tough steak but I ate it," Broner said. "I knew he was going to come to fight. Tough world-class fighter. I had to see how much gas was in that little Toyota."
Broner landed a hard right uppercut to the chin of Rees after 52 seconds of the fourth round, sending the Welshman to the canvas for only the second time in his career.
A left uppercut to the body by Broner 30 seconds before the end of the fifth round dropped Rees to one knee. The challenger rose and exchanged again but Broner unleashed a final flurry and Brown had seen enough.
Rees pressed the attack early, landing body blows to the champion steadily in the first two rounds and nailing Broner with a left hook to the jaw.
But Broner seized command in the third round, landing a hard left hook and a punishing lead right that launched an eight-punch flurry before Rees, backed up against the ropes, could grab the champion.
On the undercard, Cameroon-born Australian Sakio Bika downed Montenegro's previously undefeated Nikola Sjekloca by unanimous decision to become the mandatory challenger for unbeaten WBC super-middleweight champion Andre Ward.
Bika won by judges' scores of 118-112, 119-109 and 120-108 to improve his record to 31-5 with two drawn while his European rival fell to 25-1.