Boxing: Reid aims to take Calzaghe's title

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The Independent Online
ROBIN REID has warned Joe Calzaghe to stay focused on the present and let the future take care of itself - or risk losing his world super- middleweight title.

The Manchester fighter, who faces the Welsh World Boxing Organisation champion at Newcastle Arena on Saturday night, is refusing to look any further ahead than this weekend as he attempts to relieve Calzaghe of his crown. However, Reid feels that Calzaghe is treating victory a a foregone conclusion and thinking ahead prematurely to possible unification deals involving Steve Collins and Roy Jones Jnr.

"It honestly doesn't bother me. I don't need that sort of stuff to get me going," said Reid, , who lost his World Boxing Council super-middleweight title in a surprise defeat by South Africa's Sugar Boy Malinga in December 1997. "I've been the underdog before; I've been written off before - and I prefer that, to be honest. The pressure is off me. The pressure is on Joe. He's talking about doing me in three rounds or whatever round he's on now; I can't remember.

"He's looking towards his next fight and he hasn't even got this one out of the way yet. I'm relaxed. I've trained hard and I'm mentally and physically prepared. I know I'm going to perform and I'm going to win."

Reid's trainer, Brian Hughes, is confident his man can do a job and dismissed a local newspaper report which polled 12 experts who unanimously tipped Calzaghe.

"All 12 are wrong, and we'll find out on Saturday night," Hughes` said. "I've never seen Robin so motivated for a contest as he is for this one. They're definitely wrong, I can assure you."

As well as his boxing, Reid has made something of a name for himself as a model, but he is determined that the sideline will not get in the way of the main business.

"My main priority is my boxing," he said. "I've been boxing since I was eight. I was an England international at 17 or 18 and went to the Olympics. I've always been a boxer, and that's always been the main priority.

"Some people knock it and say he's too involved in his modelling, but that's not true. A lot of people's perceptions of boxers is the flat nose, cauliflower ears and not being able to string a sentence together. But do a bit of modelling and it proves we're not all like that."