Reshat Mati isn’t the most talkative fighter in the world. More times than not, he’ll greet you with a smile, a playful joke, and quickly shift the conversation to something boxing related. Although he’s just 24 years of age, the sport has already consumed him. Even when he doesn’t have anything lined up on his pugilistic calendar, he’ll be spotted entering the gym early and leaving late.
So far, his perpetual work ethic has rewarded him with an undefeated record through 13 pro fights. His dominance, however, has flown under the radar. When discussing the best young fighters in the sport today, the 24-year-old’s name is seldom, if ever mentioned.
Throughout it all, Mati puts on a facade of sorts. He shrugs off his disappearance in those prospect of the year talks and waves his hands apathetically when asked if he believes he’s being disrespected. But while he shows little to no emotion surrounding that conversation, Mati is not only listening intently, but he’s also using it as big-time motivation.
“It fuels me,” said Mati to BoxingScene.com. “It fuels me. You guys think they're better than me? We’ll see.”
Keeping his mind on those who are perceived better than him, at least momentarily, has taken a backseat at the moment. In just a few short weeks, the New York native will look to prove his worth when he takes on longtime veteran Wesley Ferrer.
Taking care of business, by and large, is expected of highly touted prospects such as Mati at this phase in their career. The need to build them, groom them, and place them on the big stage is a step-by-step process. Nevertheless, as Mati takes a strong look at his contemporaries, he notices that plenty of those hotshot prospects have taken unexpected nosedives when asked to step up their level of competition. With his 0 still intact, Mati believes that his career is progressing along right where it’s supposed to.
“Prospect are crashing now," continued Mati. "They're getting dropped, they're losing and stuff like that. I’m still doing the stuff that I’m supposed to be doing.”
Should everything go according to plan, Mati knows good and well that his name will continue to pick up traction. But even if he isn't hurled into the spotlight and given the same time and attention that his peers are afforded, Mati won’t loathe those who are. While the early limelight is great, the up-and-coming super lightweight prospect plans on leaving an indelible mark on the sport in due time.
“Let them say what they wanna say. My goal is to win the championships.”