Boxing: Reid targets swift return to the top

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Ten years ago Robin Reid looked like he would dominate British boxing but somewhere between Runcorn and Milan the Olympic Bronze medallist lost his way.

Reid, now 30, defends his World Boxing Federation super-middleweight title against the Argentinian veteran Julio Cesar Vasquez at the Skydome in Coventry tonight in the latest attempt to regain his position in the sport.

Back in 1996 Reid travelled to Milan and won the World Boxing Council version of the title and it looked even more likely that he had secured a permanent and lucrative future. But too many things went wrong after that, including a contentious points defeat to Joe Calzaghe two years ago.

Now Reid has spent the last year as an additional performance on the Audley Harrison roadshow, but he deserves better. "It has not been an easy time re-establishing myself but a fight against an experienced and respected boxer like Vasquez will certainly help," said Reid. Vasquez, who is 35, has lost just three times, all to world champions, in 66-fights.

"Boxing is not just about having a fight, it is often about not getting hit and thinking. But I am prepared for both and it has always been that way with me," insisted Reid.

If Vasquez, who twice held versions of the light-middleweight title, has anything to offer he will be able to test Reid's desire and ambition. An emphatic victory against Vasquez, in front of the Grandstand cameras, could be exactly what Reid needs to get back to where he belongs.