Robin Reid; I beat Calzaghe in the 1st fight … I would beat him in the 2nd!
Interview by Spud Woollatt (January 21, 2005)
So many times we are accused of using the words "World Class Fighter" too sparingly, so I really do hope the readers excuse me on this occasion, Doghouse Boxing have just interviewed World Class fighter, Runcorn’s Robin Reid.
Reid (37-4-1) thus far has had a fine boxing career. As an amateur the list of awards and accolades he received were seemingly endless, his finest award, winning the Bronze Medal in the Barcelona Olympics.
Reid then commenced his professional career in Feb 1993. After 22 fights he challenged Vincenzo Nardiello in Milan for the Italian's WBC Super Middleweight Title and despite very few giving him a chance he ripped the title away in a stunning 7th round stoppage. After 3 successful defences Reid himself was shocked by losing his title by way of a unanimous decision against South African "Sugar Boy" Malinga.
The Malinga loss was not the end of Robin Reid. Only a year or so later, Reid controversially lost to the current WBO Super Middleweight Joe Calzaghe. A fight to this very day Reid disputes by saying "I thought I beat him in the 1st fight, and I would beat him in the 2nd!!!".
Unfortunately that was not to be the end of the controversy in Reid's career, because he lost all chance of beating Sven Ottke in December 2003 due to. in my opinion, the most scandalous refereeing by Roger Tilleman in a world title fight. Reid shows his frustration concerning this fight later on in the interview.
Reid eventually bounced back to possible big time fights when convincingly outpointing Northern Ireland’s Brian Magee in Belfast for the IBO Super Middleweight crown. Reid himself has revealed to Doghouseboxing that his promoter Jess Harding is presently in negotiations for fights with either Markus Beyer, the current WBC World Super Middleweight Champion, or Mikkel Kessler, the current WBA Super Middleweight Title holder.
This is what Robin Reid had to say to The Doghouse:
Spud: You had an extremely accomplished record as an amateur, can you remember your record and some of your amateur achievements?
RR: You are talking a long time ago. I had at least 30 or 40 international fights including the Olympics and wearing the GB vest. I won quite a few of them. I won a silver medal in the world juniors. I won a bronze in a Sardinia Multi Nations Tournament, a bronze in the Turkey Multi Nations Tournament; they were quite tough Multi nation tournaments you know!!! … I won a gold in a Finnish Tournament, a gold in The Canada Cup, but my biggest achievement has to be a bronze at the Olympics in Barcelona.
I only went into the ABAs once, I felt I kept getting screwed. As far as how many amateur fights I had, I bet some people on your site could tell me the exact number, but I must have had around 130 odd fights and lost about 30 of them.
Spud: I hope you don't mind because some boxing fans on the British Forum have given me some questions to ask … here is another … How much do you think you have left at world level seen as you are 33 years old. How much longer will you remain as a professional boxer?
RR: I always said when I started I wasn't going to be one of these fighters which goes on and on. I have a few niggles every now and again like my knees, nothing serious just normal aches and pains. I certainly want to win another recognised World Title like the WBC, WBA, IBF or the WBO title which is on the cards because I think I am ranked something like 4th by the WBC, and 3rd by the WBA and IBF. We are presently in negotiations to fight for one of those titles.
To be honest I wanted to make a couple of defences of my own title the IBO, but if I do that at this moment in time I could jeopardise a shot at one of those other titles. I really want to go out on a high and I can see myself boxing another couple of years before I call it a day.
Spud: That leads me into my next question. Are you becoming frustrated at the lack of fights since your excellent win in Belfast against Brian Magee, you have more or less answered the next bit of this question, what does your promoter Jess Harding have planned for you?
RR: Yes of course I get frustrated - anyone would. Brian Magee made about ten defences of the IBO Title when he was the holder, so he must of made a few bob out of that. I haven't made any defences so yes it is frustrating me. Naturally it has been explained to me about lack of TV money and in addition the reasons of wanting to keep my ranking with the other governing bodies. Boxing isn't too clever at the minute.
To be honest I really thought I would make 3 or maybe 4 defences of my title before fighting for one of the major titles.
Spud: Joe Calzaghe. Many people feel you won the first fight against Calzaghe. Do you want to fight him again, and has there been any serious offers to fight Joe since the first fight?
RR: I have to say to the first part yep I feel I won the first fight as well. I have studied a tape of it and I seriously believe I won that fight by at least 2 rounds and that includes the point deduction for the low blow. Each time I watch the tape, I think I won even more!!! The Referee always seemed to be on my case, don't get me wrong I think myself and Joe in that fight were as bad as each other, but it just seemed the Referee was always blaming me.
Everyone thinks I got paid an absolute fortune for that fight, bearing in mind I was the WBC holder, I really thought I would receive about 100k, it wasn't as if I was going into that fight as unknown! I made 3 successful defences of the WBC Title. I got paid 75k and it was only last year I received the last of the purse due to a dispute!
We thought bearing in mind how close the first fight was we would get paid a decent amount for a second fight, especially when so many people thought I won the first one. I was told I would get paid what I was worth, I was told it would be an offer I could not refuse, in the end all I was offered was 90k, that was only 15k more than the first time around.
No one could tell me that people would not have been interested in a second fight, all I wanted was to be paid for what I was worth! To be honest I thought I was going to be offered 150k and as I say I was offered 90k, that is why the second fight never came. It was shortly after that I signed for Jess Harding.
Spud: After the Sven Ottke debacle, when myself and many others thought you were cheated, will you ever want to travel overseas to fight say Beyer or Kessler?
RR: Yes I will do it, as long as the money is okay. I do not want to create the wrong impression here that all I am interested in is the money, that is not the case, but a fighter should be paid what he is worth. After the Ottke fight, a lot of fighters wouldn't bother but I have learnt by my mistakes and I cannot turn a fight down because I think something like the Ottke situation will happen again, so yes I would go. I have to put the Ottke situation behind me otherwise I will never get another chance to fight for a recognised world title.
I have fought myself back into contention for a title shot and I will ensure I take the opportunity when it comes around. As I have already said, my position in the rankings will mean I will get my chance soon. We have had an offer to fight Kessler and Jess is investigating going down the Marcus Beyer route as well.
I will say to myself “forget the Ottke fight,” - I won the WBC title in Italy when no one gave me a chance.
Spud: Talking briefly about the Ottke fight … When did you realise that other than knocking him out, there was no chance you were going to win the fight?
RR: Myself and Brian (Hughes) had a game plan. Certainly for the first 5 rounds I thought I was boxing his head off, I was doing what I wanted to do. But then Jess Harding came up to us after the 5th round and said we had only won one of the rounds on the judges’ scorecard. So it was then I knew I was being stitched and I knew I had to knock him out, and I knew that would be a hard job because he had never been stopped.
I tried my best, I had to keep going and there was a thought to myself "You never know I might get the decision".
Spud: You are renowned as having a rock solid chin, so have you ever been dropped as an amateur or as a professional whether it be in a fight or in sparring. And the second part of that question is, who is the hardest puncher you have faced?
RR: No, I have not been dropped in fights or sparring. The hardest puncher? That’s a tough one … On paper I have been in with loads of big punchers, but there was no stage in any of those fights I thought I was in any form of trouble.
I remember Henry Wharton going for the body and hitting me on the elbows. He threw about 3 body punches on the spin, I felt the pain in the elbows and thinking thank **** they didn't land! Don't get me wrong, Joe Calzaghe could punch but not as hard as I originally thought, but perhaps I was that wound up I didn't feel the punches! Sometimes it is a positive thing when you go in with a known puncher, because it makes you so much more aware of what is going on, and how on guard you have to be.
Spud: If you could change anything in the past concerning your career, whether it be a management decision that was taken, how you prepared for a fight, choice of opponent, or an opportunity turned down, what would it be?
RR: That would be before I fought Sugar Boy Malinga. I was full of flu and had a chest infection. I should have definitely pulled out of that fight. I was restricted with what medication I could take, I was coughing up allsorts, even Brian Hughes thought I should pull out, but the reason why I didn't was because I thought I was letting my promoter down, Sky down and most importantly the fans. It was naivety at the time especially when I see how many fights Joe Calzaghe has pulled out of! I should have had my management telling me to do so as well.
I lived to regret not pulling out because I lost my title.
Spud: With regards to the current domestic super-middleweights, my personal favourite is Carl Froch. What do you think of him or any of the other Super Middleweights?
RR: I do not want to be disrespectful here but I do not pay a lot of attention to the Domestic Scene. I have to concentrate on bigger and better things. But what I will say is, I once saw Froch being interviewed. It was at the end of one of his fights. What annoyed me about him, although he is a good fighter, was that when he was being interviewed for whatever reason he showed a complete lack of respect.
Spud: Robin, it has been a pleasure, thank you for taking so much time with us!
RR: No problems, there were some good questions there.
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