By Paddy Appleton
Joe Rea has been training hard for Prizefighter in May and the Ballymena man believes his training will pay off in the Kings Hall.
“Training has been going very well lately. I have been concentrating on my conditioning at the minute to help me prepare for the tough quick fire nature of Prizefighter.
“I’ve been training with my cousin Eamonn Loughran doing a lot more interval training as that’s the way Prizefighter is fought so that should help my stamina.”
Training with former world champion Loughran will give Rea a good marker as to what’s expected of him during the tournament.
However the Antrim man says no one has seen the Joe Rea that is coming to the Kings Hall before.
When asked was he nervous or excited the super-middleweight told us both are needed to produce a performance on the night.
”I get excited and nervous as the fight gets closer. Nerves are good though; I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a fight in a long time.
“I know I am up for it, no-one has ever seen the best Joe Rea but they will on May 5th, I guarantee you that.”
Rea says that fellow opponent Anthony Fitzgerald poses little danger to him and that he would like to fight him early in the tournament.
Fitzgerald told Irish-Boxing.com last week that he sees no threat to the prizefighter crown if he is at his best, but Rea doesn’t share that view.
“Everything was all quiet last week at the press conference. All of us are quietly confident and so we should be, but as far as I’m concerned the talking is over with me and Fitzer.
“It’s time to let the fists do the talking. I still want him in the first round because I don’t particularly rate him.
“He’s very one dimensional, doing the same thing in every fight. You can read him like a book. Beating him would be a great warm up for me to get into the semi-finals.”
Joe Rea wants the title desperately, and has shown his intent with such strong words. He will want to back up his words with wins in the ring come May.