Q&A with Up-and-Coming Jr. Welterweight Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed

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Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed (8-0, 5 KOs) is an up-and-coming Jr. Welterweight prospect from Waldorf, MD.

Trained by his father, Michael “Buck” Pinson, Reed turned professional in 2013 after an impressive amateur career, which included winning the National Golden Gloves Championship at 141 pounds in 2011.

Round By Round Boxing caught up with Reed as he prepares for his next fight on April 18, 2014 at Rosecroft Raceway in Fort Washington, MD.

The Keystone Boxing promoted event will feature some of the brightest young fighters in the DC-Metro area and Reed will be headlining the card.

Read on for our in-depth discussion with Reed as he breaks down everything from his fighting style to his favorite fighters in the sport.

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Round By Round Boxing: How is training coming along for your next fight on April 18?

Mike Reed: Training is good. No injuries and we’ve got some good sparring. So far, so good.

RBRBoxing: Good to hear. So is it hard to train for an upcoming fight when your opponent sometimes isn’t named until late into camp?

MR: It’s pretty hard, but at the same time I just go about my training. The biggest thing with me—because I’m a little short for the weight class—is if the guy has height. If the guy has height then we will focus our training camp around that, but if it’s a last minute opponent then we really won’t know. I’ve really seen it all coming through the amateurs, so there is nothing that I’m too worried about.

RBRBoxing: So height is important, what else do you look at when preparing for a fight?

MR: I know I’ll always be the shorter guy, but that’s cool with me. I’ve been the shorter guy pretty much my whole life so I’ve developed ways and techniques that work well against taller opponents. We also look to see if a guy is a natural Jr. Welterweight, if he’s coming up [in weight] or moving down for the fight, things like that.

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RBRBoxing: We see a lot of father-son tandems in boxing, sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. What makes the boxing relationship between you and your father work?

MR: I think I have an understanding of who has my best interest in mind. My father has been there from the beginning, at every level we have progressed as a team. When I was just coming on the scene, so was he so we learned together. With us finding success at every level it helps the whole process.

RBRBoxing: Do you feel your amateur background and experience has helped you as a professional or is that a completely different ball game?

MR: The comfort level I have in the ring—because of my experience in the amateurs—I think sets me apart from your average fighter. I’m already a calm person outside of the ring, but the whole experience factor allows me to be even calmer inside of the ring.

RBRBoxing: You’re 21 years old, 8-0 as a professional, how do you feel like your career is coming along? Are you happy with your progression?

MR: I’m very happy with where I’m at and where I’m headed. I feel as though my skill set allows me to take dangerous fights and I’m always learning. I’m always training for a fight or I’m always fighting and staying active. From last March when I turned pro I fought eight times in 12 months, that’s more than every other month.

So me being active is a big plus. I think compared to some other guys who have signed with big promoters early in their career they aren’t necessarily a priority, so they get a fight whenever they [the promotional company] are ready for them. So for me being able to fight more than every other month that’s pretty good. I think that’s the most important thing, actually getting in the ring and getting that experience, because it’s all about fights at the end of the day.

I feel like I’m in a unique situation by not being signed with anyone and getting the respect I’m getting right now and I owe most of that to Keystone, they’re doing a good job.

RBRBoxing: Who do you think some of the best up-and-coming Jr. Welterweight Welterweight fighters are today? Guys that you may eventually cross paths with?

MR: Well, you have guys in the amateurs that I grew up with, but I really don’t have my eyes on one particular person. I know Jose Benavidez, he was a little older than me, when I won the Junior Olympics that’s when he won the U.S. Nationals. I got to see him perform and I know he’s doing well for himself and they’re really building him good. If he doesn’t get any injuries I think he’ll be one of the top guys once I get there.

RBRBoxing: The DMV has a lot of really good up-and-coming talent in boxing. How has that helped your development as far as training and sparring? Do you get to train or work out with guys like [Dominic] Wade, [Phil Jackson] Benson and [Jarrett] Hurd?

MR: The competition level is amazing. It isn’t us trying to one up each other, but it’s us recognizing each other’s progress and we don’t want to get lost. It’s easy to get lost in the DMV like you said you got Phil, you got Jarrett, Dominic Wade, I could just run the list.

It’s easy to get lost on that list with all these good, quality fighters. When all of us get together, we all respect each other and it’s been like that since I’ve been boxing. When I was younger Dominique Wade he was the guy all of us looked up to you know we grew up with him and it’s just cool to see him and everybody that’s stayed with it actually being successful in the sport.

RBRBoxing: Andre Ward, Adrien Broner and Miguel Cotto are listed as some of your favorite fighters. What appeals to you about those particular fighters?

MR: I spoke earlier about how calm I am in the ring and I think Miguel Cotto has that calmness in the ring. He has a good poker face. Even when he got hurt against [Manny] Pacquiao, he still came back. He still lost that fight, but he always had the same facial expression and demeanor and I think that’s something good to have when you don’t get too high and you don’t get too low inside of the ring.

Andre Ward is just amazing. With him being so versatile he can pretty much do it all. He can fight on the inside, he can get rough with you, he can box you and I think that’s what kind of helped him win that gold medal because he was so versatile. When you see him you say okay how do I want to fight him? You have to decide okay do I want to box him or fight on the inside, but he can stay right there with you and box or rough you up, he gives everything that you want [from a fighter].

Adrien Broner, I met him in 2009 when I was in the Junior Olympics, I didn’t know who he was then, but the game that he talks today he was talking back then. To see him being unknown in 2009—five years ago—and looking at where he’s at now I think he talked his way into super stardom and I think that’s really cool to see how he transformed himself and he didn’t allow anyone to tell him that he wasn’t going to be a superstar.

RBRBoxing: Speaking of Cotto, how do you see the fight he has coming up against Sergio Martinez?

MR: That’s a real interesting fight, you know. Sergio, his movement gives a lot of people problems, but with him having those two knee surgeries I don’t know if he’s going to be able to move the same. I think if he’s able to move the same and use his legs, that’s going to be a difficult fight for Miguel Cotto.

But, at the same time, he’s [Martinez] not having surgery on his knees for nothing so I don’t think he’s going to be able to move the same and I think that’s going to give Cotto more opportunities to get on the inside.

I think Sergio’s foot movement will give Cotto problems in the earlier rounds, while Cotto will have success in the later rounds, but, I think Sergio will win by a close unanimous decision. That’s one of the fights I’m excited to see.

RBRBoxing: From talking to people and watching a few highlights I know your last fight against Bilal Mahasin started off tough and was competitive in the first round, but after that you settled in nicely and went on to dominate the entire fight. In your opinion, was Mahasin your toughest opponent to date?

MR: No, he was not my toughest opponent, because like you said he faded so much down the stretch. I think Ramesis Gil—that was my fifth fight—that was my toughest opponent because he was a smaller guy, but he had that seasoned power and he kind of buzzed me a couple of times.

As far as my last fight though, it was a good fight for me. The guy had a lot of dog in him and he wouldn’t quit. I was hitting him with some real good shots and I think I have decent power and if I hit you a couple of times—four or five times with some good shots—the average fighter will go down or at least take a knee or something, but this guy you know he had been locked up for 10 years and I think that maybe gave him the mentality that he wasn’t going to quit.

He did everything in his power that he could to come out with the victory, but he just didn’t have the experience. Like I said before, I’m always pretty calm and have the same demeanor and when he came out in the first round and tried to take my head off I weathered the storm. I still think I won that first round, but if anything, if a judge were to give him a round it could have been that round. He came out fast in the first minute or so, but after that I hit him with a body shot and heard him grunt. After that I knew I had him, so that body shot was key.

RBRBoxing: For people who don’t know who Mike Reed is yet, what can people expect and look for?

MR: I think this summer coming up you can expect big announcements as far as my career is concerned, but inside of the ring I’m a little undersized as far as height goes, but I’m explosive. I’m explosive with my hand skills and my power and that goes a long way. My defense too—I actually heard someone say that I reminded them of Pernell Whitaker. I think it was my fourth fight where I went 15 or 20 seconds without throwing one punch and I slipped about 10 or 15 of the guy’s punches and I think that got the crowd excited. So being fast and being explosive I think those are things you can expect every time I go out.

RBRBoxing: Thanks Mike and good luck on April 18.


You can follow Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed on Twitter and Instagram and check out his next fight on Friday, April 18, 2014 at Rosecroft Raceway. Click here for ticket information from Keystone Boxing. All photos by Juan Marshall/ProAmFightTalk.

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