18 October 2010 by Steve Wellings
Quite often a boxers record fails to tell the full story. The bare statistics of Carl Framptons next opponent, Gavin Reid, may be fairly unpleasing on the eye at 6-7-1 but this is a pugilist who has no qualms about travelling into an opponents backyard for a scrap. In fact, the 31-year-old relishes being the underdog.
I dont mind boxing away from home, I have a gumshield and will travel anywhere, explained the Scottish national, now residing in the Yorkshire town of Redcar.
I boxed in Belfast a couple of times as an amateur and the crowds are excellent, they really appreciate their boxing. Carl seems like a nice lad which is good because sometimes you cant be bothered with some of the people in this sport! When I talk about his boxing skills I have to be serious because hes a serious boxer. Hes strong, fit, comes forward and can punch, plus his amateur calibre is strong and has given him a boxing brain.
Reid is undoubtedly a neat step-up for 7-0 Frampton and possesses a CV littered with top domestic names like Scott Quigg, Stephen Smith and Ricky Owen.
Scott Quigg was definitely the most solid puncher Ive faced so far, confirmed Gavin. From round-one onwards he hit with the same power and conviction throughout the fight.
The single hardest shot Ive been caught with was by Ricky Owen in the Prizefighter and as soon as he connected with that punch, my head went. It took me about a round and a half to get back in to the fight and when I knocked him down his head was still there but his legs had clearly gone. So he must have some boxing brain and chin to have got through that.
The Nicaraguan (Bismarck Alfaro) was strong and awkward, added Reid, and used his head a bit; Stephen Smith was a hard puncher but he realised that I was tough and wasnt going anywhere so he boxed me from about round-six. I didnt have the boxing ability to draw him in and box behind the jab, I like to have a tear-up and allowed Smith to get his breath back when I wanted to drag him into the trenches.
Even when Reid loses he usually gives a good account of himself and occasionally the battle hardened super-bantamweight goes into the lions den and comes out victorious. He has snapped the unbeaten records of John Donnelly and Stuart McFadyen, both touted prospects at the time.
I do have a punch to turn a fight around although Im not a single punch expert, rather a wearing down, workrate sort of puncher. That happened when I fought John Donnelly because for the first three rounds he was all over me trying to knock me clean out. Id come off the back of a KO defeat to Andrew Singh Kooner so I can understand what his thinking was, but he underestimated me and I ground him down for a knockout.
Previous experience also counts, with an appearance in the super-bantamweight Prizefighter tournament won by Limericks Willie Casey earlier this year. Reid engaged Welshman Ricky Owen in a three-threes barnstormer.
Being in Prizefighter was an absolutely brilliant experience, he said. All the boxers spent about two days together having a laugh and getting to know each other so even after the fights we all got together again. It was the pinnacle of boxing with a group of gentleman outside of the ring, getting in and wearing their hearts on sleeves trying to take each others heads off.
Having four mouths to feed at home means that the presence of the Celtic title adds further motivation to Reids quest. A win over lauded Belfast puncher Carl Frampton, fresh from a third-round thumping of Yuriy Voronin, would also do his career prospects no harm at all and the winner of this bout will be right in the thick of the British title mix.
Having the Celtic title on the line certainly adds more of an incentive for me to come across and beat Carl, agreed Gavin.
Its a prestigious title to obtain and I was supposed to box for this before against Ricky Owen in Heston Carl was actually on the same bill but the place got flooded and it never came off. Im thankful its happening for me again now.
This is a great fight if I can get that upset win. They see me as a stepping stone or a springboard and nobody really wants to be seen in that way but even though they are looking at British titles so am I and its a childhood dream for me to win a title, the same as any other fighter.