by David P. Greisman
If junior welterweight prospect Mike “Yes Indeed” Reed is going to continue to make progress, then it would be good for him to make like Prograis — fellow unbeaten 140-pounder Regis Prograis, that is.
Prograis knocked Aaron Herrera out in one round this past March. Reed will take on Herrera this Friday night at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.
Reed is looking at Herrera both for what happened to him in his last fight but also for the sum of everything that came before.
“I know that's he's an experienced guy, maybe the most experienced guy I've fought,” Reed, a 23-year-old from Waldorf, Maryland, told BoxingScene.com via text. “He likes to stay on the outside and use his boxing skills but can be lured into a slugfest. That plays more into my skill set and what I do well. I'm a short guy who likes to break my opponents down over the fight, so that would be best for me. However, I am prepared to have to work my way inside in the early rounds.”
Reed watched Prograis KO Herrera — he likes to see his fellow prospects and contenders at junior welterweight, given that he could someday face them or one of their opponents — and learned from it.
“I think Regis and myself both being shorter southpaws with slick styles compare well to one another,” Reed said. “I took from that quick fight that if you jump on Herrera early and don't let him ‘get his feet wet,’ you can rattle him and maybe get the early knockout.”
And the early knockout is what he wants because, he says, that’s what the fans want.
“Every superstar in the sport of boxing with the exception of Floyd Mayweather has demonstrated knockout power on a consistent basis,” he said.
Reed is 19-0 with 11 KOs and has put together a decent run of stoppages of late. After winning three straight bouts by decision in 2014, Reed has since had early nights in five of his last seven appearances, even as he continues to step up his opposition while developing himself.
“As far as my knockout percentage going up with the level of competition, I believe they go hand in hand with one another,” Reed said. “I say this because I have a longer time to figure my opponent out and find the knockout, plus my opponent is coming to win and not just survive, so there are more openings for myself as he punches.”
Some fighters show more power as they go from their teenage years into early adulthood.
“I do feel as though I am getting stronger,” Reed said. “Not only am I getting stronger, but I'm learning more, which allows me more opportunities to get the knockout. With me being only 23, I still have a ways to go before I hit my ‘man strength,’ but I'm coming into my own right on schedule.”
Reed turned pro in early 2013. He’s about to have his 20th fight, all at junior welterweight, which is where he’s been since he was 16 and still an amateur. About half of his pro career has been under the banner of Top Rank.
“I see myself being exactly where I need to be and wanted to be,” Reed said. “When I signed with Top Rank, I knew there wouldn't be a fast track to a world title shot but instead they would groom me into being a future star in the sport.”
He’s looking forward to the future steps, including being on TV more so that more people know who he is, and moving up to 10-round fights and the level of opposition that comes with them.
“We're looking forward to this upcoming fight and putting on a spectacular performance,” he said. “If all things go well we have been told that there are bigger things in store down the road.”
Pick up a copy of David’s book, “Fighting Words: The Heart and Heartbreak of Boxing,” at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsamazon or internationally at http://bit.ly/fightingwordsworldwide. Send questions/comments via email at [email protected]