BOXING: Northampton’s Reeve convinced he’s closing in on title chance

Nathan Reeve
Nathan Reeve

Nathan Reeve reckons he isn’t far away from a big fight.

The 28-year-old from Northampton has been added to a show in Bedford on Sunday, May 20.

That will be his third fight since he relaunched his career last year – and Reeve believes he’s closing in on titles.

He said: “My goal when I came back was to get into title contention by the end of this year and I’m on course for that.

“It won’t be long before I’m knocking on the door of the British title – or I might even go past the British title.

“If a shot at the Commonwealth or European title came up, I would take it.

“I just have to keep winning and see what happens.

“We will just have to see what opportunities are out there. I feel I’m heading in the right direction. I was a bit rusty in my first fight back, watched the tape, saw what I did wrong and put it right. I was happier with my last performance.”

That last performance was a third-round stoppage of veteran spoiler Sergey Tasimov at The Deco in March, Reeve’s sixth inside-the-distance win in his 12-fight professional career.

“I don’t box to get rounds under my belt,” said the Far Cotton-based puncher. “If I get the chance, I will take my opponent out.

“My style is to get inside and hurt people. I have a Ricky Hatton-type style and someone said I was like Roberto Duran the other day. I was happy with that!

“They were attacking fighters who were always thinking about defence.”

Reeve says switching jobs has also boosted his title hopes.

Previously based in Solihull, he is now working for Crystal Electronics, based in Earls Barton.

He thanked new boss Dean Port and added: “My other employers weren’t very flexible, but Dean understands that when I have a big fight coming up I might need a day off here and there to go sparring.

“That’s the sort of support I need if I’m going to be fighting for titles.”

Reeve says he’s also been driven on by his gym-mates, including Carl Fail and Chantelle Cameron.

“We all grew up together with (coach) John (Daly) at the gym and now we are all on the big stage together.”

Tickets are available from the Far Cotton gym on Towcester Road.

Fail success as he leads Lionhearts fightback

Far Cotton ABC welterweight Carl Fail was punch perfect on his World Series of Boxing debut in Newport.

Boxing over five rounds for the first time, Fail dominated France Fighting Roosters’ Kevin Bertogal, winning every round on all the judges’ scorecards.

Bertogal was a seasoned professional with 32 paid fights behind him – but he barely laid a glove on the towering southpaw from East Hunsbury who is trained by John Daly at the Far Cotton gym.

“I just did what I do,” said Fail, silver medallist at last month’s European under-22 championship. “I just got behind my jab, switched from body to head and won comfortably.

“I didn’t really get out of second gear and didn’t have to.

“I just boxed economically behind the jab, like the coaches told me to. I was cut during the Europeans and they didn’t want me to take any risks.

“They made it clear to me that he was a tough opponent and I should just stick to my boxing.

“It was a really comfortable win and I was glad to get the five rounds under my belt.”

Fail’s victory kick-started a British Lionhearts’ comeback.

Lionhearts lost the opening two fights, but went on to win the match 3-2 and secure top spot in the European group.

That win takes the Lionhearts through to the quarter-finals – and Fail looks likely to keep his place.

Fail will be in London this weekend cheering on twin brother Ben as he targets the Elite middleweight title.

He said: “Ben has been working really hard in the gym with me and John and I’m really confident he’s going to do it this year.”

Kings Heath boxer James shines for England again

Eithan James maintained his fine international form with a classy showing on the WSB undercard at Newport last weekend.

In the four-man match against their Welsh counterparts, the England team suffered a 3-1 defeat.

But there was personal joy for James as he was the only England winner in the contest.

Welsh champion and multi-title holder Rhys Edwards provided the sternest of opposition over three three-minute rounds at 60kg.

But the height and range advantage was with the styish Kings Heath boxer, and he made full use of the ring with quality moves, countering his opponent over the nine quality minutes.

James eventually emerged with a deserved points decision.

All three rounds were close but it was the switch-hitting James who took the initiative and had the last say in a very worthy international encounter between two talented young boxers who have very bright futures.

“Eithan performed very well and the split decision was not a true reflection of the bout ,” said Kings Heath head coach Arthur Daly.

“But he went there for the win and put himself under a lot of pressure to get it.

“The stakes were high but both he and the England team were pleased with his showing.

“He has steadily grown into the 60kg weight category and with time and patience we can take him to the next level.

“He has now boxed for England more than 20 times, losing only once, and that speaks volumes for his talent and mindset.”

Elsewhere, Kings Heath had two winners at the Schoolboy Championships.

The Fitzharris brothers both claimed victory and the club will now focus its attention on this weekend’s Elite Championships.

There will be two big chances in the shape of featherweight Liam Davies and lightweight Aqash Tuqir.