Fight night beckons and judging by his demeanor, it is feeling like Mike Reed is thinking his soon to unfold fight is an opportunity.
His faceoff with Jose Ramirez in Fresno, which will run on ESPN, does not loom, it entices. One doesn’t get the sense that anxiety and self doubt has crept into Reed’s head.
The Maryland-based boxer, who patiently and methodically did the grind to get to this plateau, with Keyspan Boxing and then also Top Rank overseeing, touched down in Fresno on Tuesday. He sounds ready to rumble.
“Feeling good, just landed in Fresno. Ready to put in work and get the last couple of pounds off,” said the 24-year-old with a 23-0 (12 KOs) mark. “Left the gym at 145 so I’m around the same now. I ate a banana and a drank bottle of water earlier, I’ll check my weight and eat oatmeal after that.”
I was curious, I told him, is his mindset, his POV, different for this one, being that it’s a title fight, and the stakes are that much higher, or nah?
“Same mindset, just have to win. I’ve trained harder because the stakes are higher so that’s required more focus of me during camp. I’ve sparred numerous people this camp. It started with Jarrett Hurd and ended with Lamont Peterson.”
Well, that could bode well for him come Saturday, against the home-towner.
It is possible that those two world class fighters mentioned are of a higher grade skills-wise than Ramirez, who might well enjoy the power edge Saturday, with his 15 stops attached to a 20-0 mark.
The title up for grabs is the WBC continental Americas super lightweight/junior welterweight strap.
Readers, how do you see this one playing out? I asked Reed, is it possible that the sparring you received will actually be of a higher quality than anything Ramirez can show you?
“Some were (better) and some were not,” Reed said. “We brought in some and went out for others to find different styles that mimic that of Ramirez.’ Some guys had the size, but not the punch rate. Some had the punch rate but not the size, so it was a bit of a game of mix and match to get the perfect combination.”
See how it plays out on ESPN, the flagship channel, Saturday night. The Top Rank show kicks off at 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and streams live on the ESPN app. The telecast will also feature Artur Beterbiev (11-0, 11 KOs), a Russian native who fights out of Montréal, Québec, Canada, versus Enrico Koelling (23-1, 6 KOs), of Berlin, Germany, battling for the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) light heavyweight title.
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