Nathan Reeve says next week’s English-title fight in Northampton could be decided by his toughness – and his dancing !
The 29-year-old crowd pleaser meets Craig Derbyshire for the vacant super-flyweight championship a week on Saturday, looking to become the third Northampton fighter to wear the St George’s belt, after Alan Bosworth and Paul David.
Reeve outpointed Derbyshire over four rounds at The Deco in September, 2017, but has warned his Yorkshire rival he’s a better fighter now, thanks to his strength-and-conditioning coach Colin Toal – and dancing with his sister.
“That fight with Derbyshire was my first fight back (after a lay-off) and I’ve improved a lot since then,” said Reeve, who trains with John Daly at Daly’s Gym, on Towcester Road.
“I didn’t do enough strength and conditioning in the build up to that first fight, but now I’m working with Colin Toal and I’m stronger – and my footwork is better.
“Ever since I started dancing with my sister, my footwork has come on so much.
“I feel that all round I’m now a much better boxer and this time, I will stop him.
“I’m due a knock-out win. I like to go in there and take my opponents out, and he hasn’t seen me at my best yet.”
Reeve accepts it will be a tough night’s work – and he’s ready.
“He was tough, awkward and strong,” said Reeve of their first fight, over four rounds.
“He swung this big right hand. It caught me on the top of my head and it had power in it. I thought: ‘Be careful, I don’t want to take one of those on the chin.’
“I would say that technically, I’m better than him, but over 10 rounds, it comes down to more than that.
“It’s down to heart, grit and how fit and tough you are.”
Reeve has starred on a big Northampton fight night before.
His eight-round stoppage of Terry Broadbent at the Moat House in September, 2012 was surely the best professional fight seen in the town for the last decade – and he predicts another thriller next weekend.
“It’s 10 rounds this time and the fans are in for a treat,” Reeve said. “It’s going to be an exciting fight.
“I know he is tough and he loves to fight.
“He’s the only guy I have fought who had a crazy look in his eyes that told me he really wanted to fight me.
“During the fight, he kept waving me forwards, saying: ‘Come on.’ Afterwards he hugged me and said he would love a rematch.”
The stakes are high going into the rematch with a shot at the vacant British super-flyweight championship likely for the winner.
Reeve has had 14 bouts during his professional career, winning 12 of them with six victories coming via TKO.
His most recent fight saw him beat Elvis Guillen on points in December.