News May 2019

Gary Lockett talks Enzo Maccarinelli resurgence, Rees-Buckland and prospects


By Michael J Jones

Lockett with Gavin Rees

Welsh trainer Gary Lockett certainly had an interesting 2013. The coach of Enzo Maccarinelli and Gavin Rees saw the former have arguably his best season in years to win all three bouts by knockout but also the latter have possibly his worst as a pro losing both contests to Adrien Broner and Anthony Crolla respectfully.

Also in the Welshman’s stable are solid prospects in Liam Williams and Lewis Rees (no relation to Gavin) and flyweight Jay Harris. Through some dramatic moments the “Rocket Man” has shown he has grown as a solid young trainer while seeing his talented stable continue to climb the ranks.

Now 37-years-old, Gary took the time out to speak to Livefight about his drama-packed 2013 and his hopes for his camp entering 2014.

LF) Enzo Maccarinelli won all three fights by stoppage last year and the word is he may be facing WBA light-heavyweight champion Jurgen Braehmer soon. Is there any truth to the rumours?

GL) Well there’s been talk of it and I feel it would be better for Enzo (fighting for a world title) than just defending his Commonwealth title. I know Enzo is a little past his prime now but he still has a lot left in the locker and the power to stop anyone he hits.

LF) He’s looked more solid in recent outings at the light-heavyweight limit stopping Ovill McKenzie and Courtney Fry. Does he make the lower weight ok?

GL) As a cruiserweight he was weighing 13st 10lbs dripping wet as his walk around weight. At the weigh in for the first McKenzie fight I thought he looked a bit gaunt at the championship weight. That was his first time making it so it’s understandable that since then he’s learned and made the weight better since. He’s very good with his diet and nutrition and although it’s a push (to make 175lbs) he does it safely.

LF) About a year or so ago a fight between him and Nathan Cleverly would have been openly mocked but now Enzo would probably be the favourite...?

GL) Yeah it would have been laughed at but Enzo just needed some defensive training and as I’ve been coached by Brian Hughes have been able to work on that with him. He needs a bit of encouraging and giving some confidence but he’s shown he’s got plenty left.
After the controversial first fight with McKenzie (when the ref jumped in prematurely in the second) he had something to prove but in the second meeting (last August) if he was going to get knocked out it would have been in the seventh. He took a big right which snapped his head back but he took it and came right back (stopping Ovill in the eleventh).

LF) Former world champion Gavin Rees on the other hand had a winless year in 2013, losing to Broner and Crolla. How has Rees been looking in the gym recently?

GL) He’s looking good, he had a body-building nutritionalist before the Crolla fight which I don’t think was right for him. He looked great but had to crash the weight as he was a solid 10st 12lbs with not an ounce of fat on him. Absolutely nothing against Anthony Crolla or Joe Gallagher though they came prepared and with a good game plan so there’s no excuses.

LF) Wasn’t Gavin also injured for the fight?

GL) He’s injury ravaged and has been for about two years. He’s had trouble with his hands, elbows plus he’s nearly 34 now. We see Gavin in the gym and he looks great but you never know how he’ll be on the night of the fight now. At 100% he’s still the best lightweight in Britain and even at 60% he’d still be too good for most fighters.

LF) Rees fights Gary Buckland on February 1st in Cardiff how has preparation been so far?

GL) Right now he’s looking good, he’s got a new nutritionalist now and the weights coming down better than ever; I wish we’d had this guy before the Crolla fight.

Gary Buckland is a dangerous fighter and firstly I’d like to say Gary and his trainer Tony Borg I have the greatest of respect for. Gavin and Gary have sparred a lot in the past but for that night we’ll put friendship aside and just see what happens.

LF) Buckland is coming off a defeat to Stephen Smith but is a good fighter with a high work-rate. How can Gavin nullify that punch out-put?

Enzo after stopping McKenzie in rematch

GL) A fighter with a high work-rate has to be allowed the chance to throw his shots. Gavin will be looking to hurt him coming in to make him hesitant. We aren’t taking Buckland lightly but if Gavin is anywhere near his best he should be a level above in terms of natural talent and power and is also naturally the bigger man. It should be a really good fight and I know for sure (the Buckland team) will get their tactics right.

LF) Your fighter Dale Evans is also on the Cardiff bill in a dangerous fight against Erick Ochieng?

GL) Dale is one of the hardest hitting kids you’ll ever see and don’t be surprised if he beats Ochieng. When we were offered the fight we jumped at it as it’s a no lose situation; if he wins great if not he’s young enough at 22 to start again.

LF) Can you tell us about the other fighters in your stable?

GL) Jay Harris is flyweight he’s just starting out and is a talented kid. Liam Williams and Lewis Rees are doing well and are both undefeated and ready to step up in class this year. Williams should be 9-0 but had a technical draw against Tyan Booth when they clashed heads.

I’ve got a good set of fighters all capable of becoming British champions anything else is just a bonus.

Matchroom’s huge ‘Reloaded’ bill goes ahead at the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on February 1st. Aside from the mentioned bouts Lee Selby faces Rendall Munroe for the vacant European featherweight title. Also on the bill is touted heavyweight Anthony Joshua facing Dorian Darch, a cross roads clash between Tony Pace and Jason Cook and Kerry Hope and Chris Jenkins in action in respective bouts.


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