Posted: 15 / 11 / 2021
It was a bout billed by Sky Sports and fans as ‘Fight of the Night’ and one of the best fights of the year.
But for 23-year-old undefeated Manchester middleweight, Brad Rea, his entertaining October points victory over Jez Smith – the 11th victory of his undefeated career – was all part of the plan for his rise in boxing.
The man styled as the “The Sting” nearly stopped Smith in their clash at Newcastle’s Utilita Arena, after dropping him with a huge body shot in the opening round. Smith recovered to even the battle out, with both boxers trading blows in the thriller before Rea’s persistence and in-ring craft saw him extend his unbeaten run by claiming a 77-75 points victory, despite sustaining a swollen eye.
The October fight with Smith was the first of his six-fight deal with Boxxer, which will see Rea’s fights televised on Sky Sports. Following the victory, “The Sting” is now adjusting his sights to his next steps in professional boxing, with the prospect of picking up English titles in 2022 on the cards.
Rea’s team originally had designs on appearing on the Josh Taylor card in December. However, plans for that have been shelved for the time being following the Scottish undisputed super-lightweight champion suffering a knee injury which pushed back his clash with Jack Catterall until the 26th February.
Whilst appearing on that card is not entirely off the table for Rea, the Manchester native also has plans to bring his entertaining boxing style back to a home venue by putting his undefeated record on the line against highly-ranked fighters who are also yet to record a loss.
On the prospect of continuing the momentum gained from the Jez Smith bout in Manchester, Rea said:
“Being from Manchester and training out of the Hatton gym, boxing in Manchester again is a really big thing for me.
“I loved every second of the Jez Smith fight. It was very tough – the toughest of my career so far – but I learned more from that fight than in my previous ten.
“Sky Sports called it ‘Fight of the Night’ and even one of the best of the year. I love being involved in fights like that and putting on a show for everyone. My following is building and I can’t wait to bring this momentum back to Manchester to see everyone turn up for more big fights.”
And giving some insight on his training regime in the build-up to his clash with Jez Smith, Rea said:
“That was the first time I’d fought eight rounds professionally, so I’m now training ten rounds in the gym.
“What we do to train hasn’t changed a huge amount, other than the camps becoming a lot more intense. I’m staying away during the week to help keep me focussed and as a minimum we’re training twice a day, six days a week.
“It is intense, but it’s what’s needed at this level.”