Nathan Reeve admits his English-title fight in Northampton on Saturday night is make or break.
The St George’s belt is up for grabs when Reeve and Derbyshire clash at The Deco on Errol Johnson’s show.
Reeve says the town’s fight fans ‘are in for treat’ in a 10-rounder that guarantees action and knows that at 29, this is a crossroads fight.
Win and he could challenge for British honours next, but lose and his career could be over.
“I’m 29 now and at this stage of my career, I know it’s make or break,” said Reeve, who’s posted four straight wins after a break of nearly four years.
“When I came back I was just happy to be boxing again because there was a stage when I wasn’t sure I would box again.
“But I started to win, got confident and now I consider myself to be better than I was before. I’m in a position where I’m fighting the best in the division again and this time, I’m ready.
“I’m boxing at home and there’s pressure, but I’ve been doing this for a long time now. I will train hard and when I’m in there, I will be fully focused on doing what I have to do.”
Reeve, trained by John Daly at Daly’s Gym on Towcester Road since he was a teenage amateur, knows what he’s up against having outpointed Derbyshire over four rounds at The Deco in September, 2017.
Reeve made sure of victory that night with a last-round knockdown and said: “He was tough. 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.”
Derbyshire gets his wish after upsetting Lee Clayton for the vacant Central Area bantamweight championship in his last fight, while Reeve goes into the fight with confidence high after a six-round points win over Elvis Guillen in December that was sealed by a spectacular last-round knockdown.
Guillen was sent toppling by a perfectly timed right uppercut and Reeve said ahead of this weekend’s title clash: “I’m due a knockout.”
Tickets are available from the Far Cotton gym on Towcester Road.
Promoter Errol Johnson has made a couple of additions to the Northampton show.
Former Kings Heath amateur Leo D’Arlanger meets Tamworth’s Josh Baillie for the vacant Midlands Area super-featherweight championship – and there could be a huge fight for Kieron Conway provided he wins in front of his home crowd on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old is set to be matched over six rounds and victory could lead to a fight with Gino Kanters for the WBC Youth version of the world championship.
Conway and Kanters have fought before. Conway came through a tough four-rounder against the Dutchman in Birmingham last September – and Kanters has since joined Conway in the MTK stable.
That means a rematch is easy to make and it could happen for a belt this summer on television.
MTK shows are currently being streamed by iFilm and beamed into American homes on ESPN Plus.
For Conway, the fight in Northampton gives him the chance to put his semi-final exit from Ultimate Boxxer behind him.
After schooling Kaan Hawes, he lost out to Derrick Osaze in a close fight that could have gone his way.
Osaze went on to win the final.
Curtis Felix also has a big fight next – provided he wins this weekend.
Boxing bosses have paired Felix with Connor Vian in an eliminator the English welterweight title. First, Felix has to come through a six-rounder in front of his home crowd on Saturday night.