Reeves relishes more big nights
Tuesday 26th March 2019
A strong Irish continency flooded into the iconic Madison Square Garden Theater for the eleventh professional fight of Michael Conlan's career, against Ruben Garcia Hernandez.
Before the St Patrick's Day celebrations could get underway properly, on the undercard of the decorated, former Irish Olympian, Limerick's Lee Reeves was in action at his natural 140lbs.
His opponent, the durable Edward Torres, who at a similar phase of his embryonic start, gave Reeves a proper test and took the 24-year old Shannonsider the full 4-round distance.
Under the tutelage of Lee Baxter (his promoter), Reeves was presented with another major stage and platform, this time on the West Coast and cruised to a unanimous points decision.
From that southpaw stance, the slick Reeves immediately got behind his jab, made Torres fall in and swiftly landed the sharp counter while stepping in and out of range.
Keeping to the basics, Reeves was not under any real pressure in the opening round; a process of feeling out his opponent and going through the gears.
The home fighter was certainly on the offensive for much of the fight and did not shy away from engaging with Reeves on the inside, only to be a fraction slower to the exchanges.
Hands low and good lateral movement, Reeves kept utilising his piston-like jab, thumped through the guard of Torres but lacking a variety to his work according to those at ringside.
Reeves was eager to impress the crowd, of whom were predominantly from the Emerald Isle and intrigued by the dazzling, youthful image of the former Corpus Christie protégé.
Overall, this was a good learning fight for Reeves, put simply as his toughest test to date and one that will benefit him in the long run, as opposed to blowing away his opponents.
Following in the footsteps of former WBO middleweight Andy Lee close to home, Reeves will aim to replicate the success of his 'townie' in reaching the pinnacle of the sport himself.
Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has tipped Reeves as one to watch for the future, praising his talents in the ring, suggesting "Ireland has a new boxing star."
Reeves has taken himself out of his comfort zone, spending longer phases of camp in Montreal, Canada, in order to have regular, top-quality sparring.
Speaking with the 3-0 (2 KOs) fighter earlier in the week, he believes he is 'destined for greatness' and will surpass any expectations weighted on his shoulders already:
- How would you assess your last performance against Torres?
Reeves: "I would class it as 20% of my full capability but little injuries stopped me to let go, the full range of shots I'm capable of. I am very glad to get the 4 rounds under my belt as my intentions beginning my pro career is too learn and experience as much as I can."
- Is 140lbs (super-lightweight) the weight you'd like to stick at when competing for major titles in the not so distant future?
Reeves: Yes 140lbs is the weight I am going to take over the world at. [In regards to fluctuating up and down in weight and whether he found any problems doing so] Reeves said "No not at all. I walk around at 152 so the day before the weigh-in lets me make 140 easy.
- Many fighters talk about the 'American Dream', fighting over in the States and being on the biggest platforms to advance their career. Are you benefiting from having fights in Canada as well as the Top Rank/ESPN cards in the US?
Reeves: Of course! I am born to fight on massive stages in massive stadiums and my promoter Lee Baxter is making all of this come true.
- How pleased are you with the way Baxter promotions have guided your career to date?
Reeves: "I couldn't have asked for a better promotional company. Lee Baxter Promotions seen my potential from day one and they are gonna take me to the top. They line them up and I knock them down."
- Could you of imagined when you started off that your boxing career, it would have taken off this quickly and have you featuring on undercards of Michael Conlan, who you are familiar with, having won many accolades in the amateurs and pros?
Reeves: "As I said, I know I am destined for greatness and to fight in these unbelievable stadiums but to do it so early on in my career on the undercard of a fellow Irish man makes it all the more sweeter."
- Finally, who are your boxing idols (past & present) and more close to home, how much have you looked up to Andy Lee, for much of his career the flag-bearer for the country as a whole?
Reeves: "I love all the classic boxers: Pernell Whittaker, [Marvin] Hagler, [Thomas] Hearns, of course, [Muhammed] Ali and [Mike] Tyson. Modern idols would be the likes of [Floyd] Mayweather and Terence Crawford."
"Yes, I look up to Andy Lee as an inspiration. I remember following his pro career from day one as he is from the same city as me and always took some of his shot varieties to implement into my own arsenal."
With 'Bud' moving up to face Amir Khan at 147lbs and relinquishing those belts he unified at 140lbs, the division is in its healthiest form and Reeves will have a firm eye on titles very soon.