On February 1st, Gary Lockett will be the man alongside Gavin Rees when he embarks on a crunch clash against Gary Buckland. At Lockett’s Gym in Cardiff, BoxingWales spoke to the trainer about the chief support contest on Matchroom Sport’s ‘Reloaded’ show at the Motorpoint Arena live on Sky Sports. BoxingWales: Gavin has had weight problems in his last few fights but speaking to him, it seems like he’s cracked it. Gary Lockett: Body building diets and performance diets, I think are two vastly different things. When I was boxing, if I knew what I know now then I would have made it a lot easier for myself. Performance diets are basically giving someone the energy to train hard whilst still dropping the body fat. When Gavin was on a body building diet for the last two and a half years, the guy who we had doing the diet was encouraging him to do a lot of weights, whereas I was encouraging him to do strength work which is not body building. It’s more functional strength and training that is relevant to punching and boxing. In the process, Gavin got very muscular because the diet was eating so many grams of protein every three hours and I knew it was wrong but I didn’t know to remedy it. We’ve fixed it now, we have Jordan Jones doing the diet and Gavin’s weight is about eight or nine pounds lower than it was this stage the last time, so obviously we’re doing it the right way. BoxingWales: I know that you’re always very impressed with Gavin in the gym but this time, do you expect to see that Gavin Rees in the ring as well? Gary Lockett: I’m hoping so, I think he’s cracked it. The difference in weight from the last couple of times says to me that maybe he has cracked his diet, maybe this is the right thing for him to do. There’s an angel and a devil on my shoulder. The angel says he’s done it well, you can see how confident he was in the gym but the devil says it’s going to be the old Gavin again, struggling. The scales don’t lie, with him being so low now, a week from the weigh in, I think he’s going to do it and be strong. BoxingWales: With Gavin and Gary Buckland having sparred so much in the past, is there a danger that when they go in the ring, they’ll know all the tricks that the other one has? Gary Lockett: I don’t think so, I think it’s going to be a good fight. If it’s not a good fight, that says Gavin is doing everything I tell him to because if Gavin boxes to his abilities and follows the game plan, I don’t think it will be a good fight. I think he’ll just pick Gary off but Gavin’s a fighter at the end of the day and they’ll probably meet in the centre of the ring and the best man will come out victorious. If Gavin sticks to the game plan, he’ll take Gary’s attacks and use them to his advantage. If he doesn’t then it’s going to be the great fight that everyone is hoping it’s going to be. BoxingWales: Gary Buckland is a volume puncher, whereas Gavin doesn’t seem to throw as many shots and he’s a lot more patient than he used to be. Do you think the styles will gel well together? Gary Lockett: Gavin did used to throw a lot of punches but a lot of punches got wasted. He sits back a little bit more now, on to his right foot and he uses his jab brilliantly, his right hand is very good and I think he’s a bigger puncher than his record suggests as well. Gary’s volume punching tends to come on the inside, he doesn’t really do a lot of work at arm length so I think that could be the difference. BoxingWales: If Gavin was to win this fight, what is there left for him to do? He’s been a British, European and world champion, so he’s done pretty much everything. Gary Lockett: I wouldn’t disrespect Gary by looking past him. Look, this is a fifty-fifty fight. Both boxers, it’s vital that they win the fight, I think that whoever doesn’t win the fight, they possibly have got nowhere to go. The again, in boxing one win can always get you back up there, it’s a must win fight. It’s a fight that Gavin’s trained his balls off for, he’s been in all over Christmas, he’s been 100% behind his diet and I think that’s testament to how much he respects Gary. BoxingWales: Normally all-British fights motivate boxers to perform better but this isn’t just that, it’s an all-Welsh fight and it’s in Cardiff. So, they have all the motivation in the world, don’t they? Gary Lockett: Gary was asked recently, did he jump at the chance and he said, ‘I jumped at the chance, it’s going to be fabulous to share the ring with a great champion like Gavin’. I mean, gohh, that’s fantastic for an opponent to speak like that about a fighter. The one thing I didn’t want it to be turned in to was this sort of, ‘they’re fighting for the pride of Wales and bragging rights’, because that’s bullshit. They’re not fighting for bragging rights. At the end of the day, they’re fighting each other because it’s in Cardiff and because the last bill in Cardiff, I think Matchroom lost money on it. So, they’ve made sure they’ve put a couple of fights on there that they know capture the public’s imagination and who can blame them? Gavin’s fight and Lee Selby’s fight (against Rendall Munroe) are two terrific fights and I think it’s going to be near a sell out. Tickets for ‘Reloaded’ Selby v Munroe are on sale now priced at £30, £40, £60 ringside and £120 VIP are available from livenation.co.uk or by calling 02920 22 44 88.

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