Rebuilt Rea Getting Ready To Reign

Brad Rea believes that he is in the ideal place to make a real impact on the British super middleweight scene.

Rea (16-1, 6 KOs) made his name on the small-hall circuit and shot to prominence by blitzing the unbeaten Lee Cutler in the first round in 2021 and then seemed to cement his position as a potential star by blowing away the undefeated Craig McCarthy inside a round. A fight with the then-English middleweight champion Tyler Denny looked the ideal next step.

The out of sorts Rea instead broke his hand, and the in-form Denny simply knew too much and retained his title with a deserved decision victory.

Rea’s defeat hasn’t aged badly, particularly considering that the Birmingham fighter has gone on to win the European title, but Rea decided that he wanted more from himself, and he made the decision to leave Blain Younis and the team at Hatton’s Gym in Hyde, Greater Manchester.

The Mancunian decamped to Blackpool and linked up with Andy Abrol, a trainer he has known since his amateur days whose fighters are spearheading a real boxing revival in the seaside town of Sharpstyle.

The 6ft 3ins Rea has also moved up to super middleweight, and felt his way back into action with a decision victory last October over Serhil Ksendzov. He followed doing so with an eye-catching stoppage of Adam Cieslak in December, and aims to continue that momentum when he boxes Patryk Polasik on Saturday. He is then looking forward to introducing fights fans to Rea 2.0.

“I don’t think you’ll see it in this fight,” the 26 year old told VIP TV. “I think you’ll see it when I’m in there with a good, elite kid. That’s when you’ll see what I’ve been doing here. You’re only seeing a small percentage of it. It’ll come sooner rather than later. I think a lot of people have probably wrote me off a little bit. I’m probably seen as a bit of an easy target and well ranked in that division for some people.

“If people are gonna agree to fight me and then go and watch that fight [with Denny] then feel free. Please do because you’re not gonna be fighting the same kid.”

The 168lbs scene in Britain will offer Rea plenty of opportunities to make up for lost time. There exist attractive domestic level opponents, and a good number of them would make for entertaining local derbies.

The reigning English champion Mark Jeffers is from nearby Chorley. Thr popular former British champions Jack Cullen and Mark Heffron are both from Greater Manchester.

A new contender could also emerge from this weekend. On Saturday night, the central area champion Reece Farnhill fights the northern area champion Adam Hepple in Oldham.

“The top 20 is very competitive,” he said. “I think they could all swap and change about and nobody would grumble really. There are some good fights to be made and a lot of the lads are local.

“For the right fight, I would have got in a 50-50 this next fight, but you listen to the bosses. It’s Steve [Wood, my manager] and Andy’s job to progress me at the right time. I’ve got a tough kid who doesn’t get stopped often but I’m gonna go out and wipe the floor with him. After that I think I’ll be back on the big stage.”