The Washington, D.C. native, and much touted Top Rank signee, Mike ‘Yes Indeed’ Reed (17-0, 10 KOs), is fighting on the #CrawfordLundy undercard at MSG on February 27. If you’re not familiar with Reed, go to YouTube and see why Top Rank and the boxing world is so excited. When Top Rank discovered Reed, he was a year into his pro career and fighting on cards put together by the D.C. promotional company, Keystone Boxing.
“The only thing you had to do was sell tickets – so it actually helped to build a brand. A lot of fighters they wasn’t able to fight on [Keystone] cards because they wasn’t able to sell tickets. We actually did really good with the followers I gathered from the amateur system – we did really good with ticket sales,” Reed said.
He knew if he was able to sell tickets on his own, he would get the attention of a promoter capable of putting him on the big stage. “We already knew I could fight; we just needed to get the attention of a big time promoter,” Reed added. A little over a year after turning pro, Top Rank reached out to Reed and made an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“Top Rank, they didn’t waste no time. I want to say it was in one of they July shows in Atlantic City, and I fought as a free agent on that show. They was very impressed with what I did and within a month I was signed with Top Rank.” Opportunities don’t always materialize that fast for up and coming fighters, but when your skills are as sharp as Reed’s, doors seem to open quickly.
I would say I’m an aggressive counter puncher.
“Everything we asked for Top Rank gave us, plus more. We had direct ties to Al Haymon and we had direct ties to Golden Boy, but Top Rank just felt like family. They told us they would give us a try – they gave us a try. They told us they would send a contract over – they sent a contract over. Basically, they didn’t make it seem like they were bigger than us or they were too big for us. They did exactly what they said they would do and this was before we even signed the contract. Right after my fight, Carl Moretti, who is the Vice President of Top Rank, he contacted us and was like, ‘Mike, we love everything we saw – what do you guys want?’
That feeling right there, we told them that we didn’t want to keep going back and forth in negotiations. He said, ‘well, we’ll get the contract over today.’ By the end of the day we had our contract.” When you watch Reed fight it’s apparent he’s wise beyond his years in the ring. He fights southpaw, comes forward, and has an innate ability to sit in the pocket and slip punches while throwing counters. “I would say I’m an aggressive counter puncher. When I always tell people they kind of look at me funny when I say I’m an aggressive counter puncher because when you hear aggression you don’t automatically think counter puncher. You normally hear . . . Mexican style fighters who come forward and bring the fight to you, which is what I am but also I’m a counter puncher because god has blessed me with the talents to be a counter puncher. I have really good eyes – I have really good defense, and we work extremely hard on my eyes and my defense in training camp,” Reed said. When he fights on the #CrawfordLundy undercard, his opponent, Marco Antonio Lopez, will try to test his eyes and defense.
“I expect him to start slow – he doesn’t want to engage. He wants to take his time, kind of pick his shots so to speak, and steal rounds. He’s trying to minimize his output to maximize his effectiveness. He wants to throw three and four punches, land them, try to back off, and take his time. That’s what we’ve seen on tape. He does a good job at it, actually.” Reed and his team have been preparing for everything Lopez plans to bring in this fight and they’re even working on starting with a greater sense of urgency, which is something Reed isn’t known for doing.
I think my dad, who was my number one trainer, did an excellent job of maximizing my abilities to have me be successful on every level.
“The big thing that we worked on this camp is starting fast . . . only because our opponent wants to fight slow. If we fight slow with our opponent that kind of gives him more opportunity to win the fight. We want to basically keep the doubt in his mind that he’s in over his head the whole fight.”
If Reed can get past Lopez, he’s looking to take on bigger names. At 5’6” with 66” arms, he’s relatively small for the 140 division, but the size disadvantage hasn’t deterred him from making noise in his weight class and having title aspirations.
“Everybody that has a belt between 135 and 147, I would love to fight. And everybody that’s highly ranked between those weight classes I would love to fight as well. I box because I like the competition of the sport. I have the tools to beat any of the top guys at all of those weight classes and I’m just waiting on my opportunity,” Reed said.
As long as Reed keeps putting together impressive performances a title shot will be on the horizon. Top Rank represents Terence Crawford and Felix Verdejo, who are fighting on the February 27 card with Reed, along with Timothy Bradley and Manny Pacquiao, who fight each other in April. “I think my dad, who was my number one trainer, did an excellent job of maximizing my abilities to have me be successful on every level.”