Photo edit by Keystone Boxing
For Mike Reed (12-0, 6 KOs), the love of boxing started at a young age. It was after getting a whoopin’ from his older brother for mouthing off.
“I’m a competitive person, and always have been, so I told my oldest brother who used to box, that boxing wasn’t that hard. He beat me up pretty good, so after that I had to learn how to box to keep up with him,” Reed mentioned during our interview Monday.
Reed is just a few days away from facing Eddie Soto (12-8, 4 KOs) at the Sphinx Club in Washington DC, and he took a few moments to speak with RBRBoxing.
Reed had a very successful 2014, going 6-0 for the year. He is headlining at a venue he’s never fought at before, but he’s in front of his hometown fans, a crowd he’s admitted he took for granted.
“I fought at home all the way up to my ninth fight. I’ve always had a couple hundred people there cheering for me, chanting my name. When you go on the road it’s obviously different. Even though Atlantic City and Omaha were amazing, I’m just excited to come back home.”
Reed faced another undefeated fighter last November in Omaha, Nebraska as part of the Terence Crawford-Ray Beltran undercard. Oscar Valenzuela was 8-0-1 at the time when he faced Reed. Their fight was the main feature of the Top Rank TV stream, the biggest stage for Reed to date.
“The TV stream gets watched by people all over the world. My team did a pretty good job at letting people know how they could watch the fight,” Reed mentions. The most important set of eyes to Reed was those at Top Rank, “I wanted them to know they have something special in me, when they brought me on. I feel Top Rank is the best organization I could have been signed to. Boxing’s biggest champs all started at Top Rank.”
Reed admits that night in Omaha wasn’t his best performance. Even though he walked away with the win, he felt his performance could have been better. “I felt Valenzuela was tailor made for my fighting style. So instead of throwing seven-to-eight punch combinations I was only throwing two-to-three punches at a time. He was not as talented as I am, so I should have done more to showcase my skills.”
So Reed and his team went back to the drawing board, something he does after every fight because he never wants to stop growing. His preparation for Saturday’s fight was the best he’s had in his career so far. A lot of that credit goes to his dad—who is also his trainer—but also sharing the ring with Lamont Peterson at the Headbangers Boxing Gym.
[otw_shortcode_quote border=”bordered” border_style=”bordered”]“I’ve been sparring with Lamont since I was 16 years old. I’m an older man now, so he doesn’t have to hold back on me. The level of intensity pushes me and it forces me to work. Being the competitor I am, it gives me a good sense of confidence that I can be in the ring with someone of that caliber.”[/otw_shortcode_quote]
Not looking past Soto on Saturday night, Reed keeps his eye on everyone from 135 pounds to the 147 pound weight division. “I just love to compete. That’s what I love most about this sport. I want to be the best, and in order for me to fight the best, I’m going to have to face the best.”
This humble approach is just the tip of Reed’s character. What could have been a normal interview for RBRBoxing turned more into a regular boxing conversation.
Reed mentions he’s looking forward to the Lucas Matthysse vs. Ruslan Provodinkov fight. “I think those two are gonna go in and kill each other.” Of course he’s excited for the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, but he feels it’s a couple years too late.
Reed also talked about this past weekend’s Keith Thurman fight, and also gave me his opinion on Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson. With a small mention of Reed’s major in accounting, it’s easy to see his authentic nature.
The game plan for Saturday night is simple. Deliver a good performance, but a knockout for the hometown would make it great. Taking one fight at a time is really all that’s on Reed’s mind for the time being. When asked about what is the ultimate goal for boxing, most say the same thing, to become world champion.
For Reed, I’m sure that comes to mind, but his response was different. “I just want to compete, I want to take great fights, and I want people to remember my name. I’m on my way to competing with the best of the best, and my skillset will show that. I’m ready to showcase my talent to the world.”
Mike Reed vs. Eddie Soto square off in an 8-round main event bout on Keystone Boxing’s 58th professional show on Saturday, March 14, 2015, live from the Sphinx Club in Washington, DC. For tickets, visit www.KeystoneBox.com. The entire fight card can also be viewed on demand at GFL.TV–click here for more information.