Lucien Reid is ready to kick on with his career, and tells Danny Flexen about the road to a double title shots against Brad Foster next month
Everything is timing. The originator of that catchphrase may not have enjoyed his best week, but the words remain true and they apply to, among others, Hackney super-bantamweight Lucien Reid, 8-0-1 (4). Having been a pro for over four years, the former national elite amateur champion finally gets a big fight on September 14, when he challenges British and Commonwealth champion Brad Foster. Given Reid has genuine pedigree, turned professional with Matchroom and was until recently trained by Adam Booth, the biggest question really is, what has taken so long?
“It’s been very, very slow considering who I’ve been with promoter-wise,” the 25-year-old tells me while driving to work as trainer and gym manager at Kent Gloves in Gillingham. He recently signed with Frank Warren and began training at Bromley’s iBox set-up under Alan Smith. “But you know the book, The Secret, all about the Law of Attraction, once I’d finished reading that book it changed my way of thinking and everything has since changed; I put it down to thinking positively. Regardless of thinking ‘It’s always me’, or ‘I’ve got bad luck’, I think, ‘It is what it is and my time will come.’
“When I had a year out of the ring [2017-18], I was in the gym every day, but it’s just politics in boxing, there were no fights for me but I was never out the gym.
“When I first went to Adam, his stable was only me and Ryan Burnett, so it was all me and Ryan, but over the years everyone started coming, the best of the best. By that point all my technical work was done with Adam’s assistant Charlie Beatt. I understand as a trainer myself, from a trainer’s point of view you have to focus on kids with title fights; they come first. I just didn’t ever have the title fights. Now, Alan is my head coach – his assistant Eddie Lam is unbelievable as well – and right now he’s mainly focused on me because I’ve got this big fight; he helps me out massively and technically. I trust Al, he’s a proper big, massive boxing fan, it’s all he talks about in the group chat and you can tell he does care about us. It’s a proper family-orientated gym.”
Family means a lot to Reid. Not only do his parents still visit him on a daily basis, but he took a job in Kent – some commute from east London – to be closer to his six-year-old son Hudson, who lives with his mum in the county. Even speaking to Lucien only briefly, it is obvious just how important Hudson is; Reid relates almost every question back to the boy, who he clearly dotes on.
“Because I’ve got a baby – he’ll be my baby for the rest of his life – and where I went through a rough patch in boxing, I thought, ‘There’s no way I can’t have a job’, because as a pro you never know what’s coming. I can’t wait to show him these belts, he loves me being a boxer but has no interest in it for himself at all. I’ve already told him I don’t want him to do it, I don’t want to see him at 11 having to lose 2-3kg like my dad had to, I’d rather have a crap life and he has the best life.
“Me and his mum aren’t together but we’re like best mates, she works and she was a massive support when I was going through that rough patch. I often have him weekends, but where I work in Kent I can also take him out to meals and stuff. When you got a kid you gotta provide for it’s different, if I didn’t have one I wouldn’t care about working. You have to try make it the best for him and having a year out literally postponed that massively.”
If Reid manages to overcome Foster, a powerful and skilful former kickboxer, he will move a long stride closer to the ultimate goal of securing Hudson’s future. And, let’s be fair, with a high-powered name like Hudson Reid, the kid can surely never be poor. Foster will present a tough challenge but, having belatedly pumped the career accelerator, Reid will take some stopping now.