BOXING: Hard-punching Reeves ready to lift first crown

Oxford heavyweight Matthew Reeves is flanked by trainer Dennis Hysenbeli (left) and co-trainer Ray Webb after his latest victory

Oxford heavyweight Matthew Reeves is flanked by trainer Dennis Hysenbeli (left) and co-trainer Ray Webb after his latest victory

First published in Sport

Oxford heavyweight Matthew Reeves will make whatever sacrifices are necessary in his bid to lift his first title next month.

Reeves, 24, a personal trainer, will take on Kent-based Bill Harmer for the Queensbury League’s vacant novice title at the Effingham Park Hotel, West Sussex, on June 8.

This follows undefeated Reeves’s superb victory against Michael Pilditch at Alexandra Palace in London in March.

Based at the Oxford Martial Arts gym in Oxford under trainer Dennis Hysenbelli, he will be following in the footsteps of Artur Gorka and Joe Jackson Brown, who have enjoyed success in the last 18 months.

Another title would see the club become one of the most successful in the country.

Harmer also brings an undefeated record to the table after disposing of his last three opponents on points, including Pilditch.

But Reeves is confident his rival won’t be putting in the same level of preparation as he is.

“Beating Pilditch at the Alexandra Palace was an amazing experience, but getting my shot at the title is going to be even bigger for me,” said Reeves.

“My last fight was all over so quickly that I was a little disappointed that it didn’t last longer than it did.

“But a first-round knockout is not bad and now I’m just focused on June 8 and winning that title.

“I’m training incredibly hard and I know that Harmer will not be prepared to make the sacrifices I’m making, which makes me feel really good about my training.

“I’ve taken things right back to basics and we are working on my footwork and really focusing on my boxing.

“So come fight night I know I’ll be ready to lift that belt.”

In the Queensbury League, boxers are divided into nine weight categories and five skill levels.

They battle it out over three, four and five two-minute rounds and move up and down the rankings depending on their results.

The most successful will earn the right to challenge for one of the five separate titles in each weight division.

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