Alan Bosworth has urged Nathan Reeve to follow the game plan that brought him the St George’s belt in this weekend’s English-title fight in Wolverhampton.
Bosworth became Northampton’s first boxer to win English honours when he ground out an upset points win over Stephen Smith for the vacant light-welterweight belt in Bethnal Green in December, 2003.
A decade on, he will be cheering on Reeve when he battles Louis Norman for the vacant English flyweight title at the Civic Hall on Sunday.
And Bosworth reckons the tactics that worked for him can take the 23 year-old a step nearer his British-title target.
Bosworth this week visited Reeve at Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club where he’s been training with John Daly and passed on the wisdom he earned in a blood-and-guts 38-fight career.
Bosworth stood toe-to-toe with world-class fighters including Shea Neary, Eamonn Magee, George Scott and Junior Witter – and perhaps his best night was when he beat Smith in front of the BBC cameras.
“Smith was a better boxer than me,” said Bosworth, “but I dragged him into my sort of fight and Nathan has to do the same on Sunday.
“Louis sounds like he’s full of himself and if Nathan stands off him, he will get picked off and Louis will get into a rhythm.
“Nathan has to take the fight to him, show him who’s boss and knock him out of his game plan.
“He needs to get on him, put him under pressure and get him to make mistakes.
“It’s going to be a tough fight.
“Louis is a confident lad and has boxed 10 rounds before.
“But Nathan is a great body puncher, strong and showed by stopping Terry Broadbent in eight rounds that he takes his power into the later rounds.
“I showed that determination and fitness can overcome skill and now Nathan has to go out and do the same.”
Reeve has secured his title chance with three straight stoppages and is taking the same route to the St George’s belt as Bosworth having served his amateur apprenticeship at Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club.
They sparred each other at the club’s gym eight years ago and Bosworth said: “I really rate Nathan.
“I sparred him when I was coming towards the end of my career and knew he was a talented lad.
“I knew he would do well.
“I was always proud to box for Far Cotton.
“John Daly is doing a great job there and hopefully it will become the first Northampton club to produce two English champions.”
Bosworth reckons Reeve will beat Norman, then go on to end Northampton’s wait for a British champion.
Norman Snow, Tony Poole, Alan Foster and Bosworth all suffered heartbreak when challenging for the Lonsdale belt.
Bosworth was beaten by Witter for the British light-welterweight title in front of a sell-out crowd at the Derngate in March, 2002.
“Nathan is boxing for a genuine national title on Sunday,” he said.
“It’s not a Mickey Mouse belt, it’s a big fight and I think he can go all the way and win the British title.”
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