THE Welshman Gavin Rees is keen to take on his stablemate and former sparring partner Ricky Burns in a bid to become a two-weight world champion.
The former World Boxing Association light-welterweight title-holder from Newbridge says his defeat by the American Adrien Broner four months ago has reignited his desire to become a world champion for the second time.
Rees was retired in the fifth-round defeat by Broner, the unbeaten boxer from Cincinnati, in Atlantic City in February in his quest to land the World Boxing Council lightweight title, but the 33-year-old, known as "The Rock", won a host of new admirers for his gutsy display and he aims to force his way back into title contention by taking care of Anthony Crolla at Bolton Arena on June 29.
Rees, who boasts an impressive 37-2-1 record, said: "It was a massive stage against Broner and, though he was too good for me on the night, it was great to get a taste of the big time in the States. It's made me hungry to get back to that level.
"Although I'm not looking past Crolla, I want another world-title shot to come from this fight and people are linking me to a fight with Ricky Burns.
"It's logical and it would be another great night, with two Brits going at it for a world title. I've had Ricky's trainer, Billy Nelson, in my corner a few times and I've sparred with Ricky, so I know him well."
Burns, the 30-year-old from Coatbridge, already has defended his World Boxing Organisation lightweight crown against another British challenger, the Englishman Kevin Mitchell, whom he stopped in four rounds at the SECC in Glasgow nine months ago.
Rees, though, may have to accept that he is currently behind the likes of the WBA champion Richar Abril, of Cuba, and Mexican Miguel Vasquez, the International Boxing Federation title-holder in terms of potential challengers.