By Daniel Gilfillan @_dannygilfillan
Lucien Reid’s wait for a title shot will finally come to an end on September 14th, as he takes on British and Commonwealth super-bantamweight champion Brad Foster at the famous York Hall.
Foster (11-0-1) picked up the Lonsdale belt in March of this year in Barnsley, where he upsetted seasoned domestic veteran Josh Wale. In what ended up being a relatively comfortable night’s work, the Lichfield man was awarded a unanimous decision victory, the fight being scored 119-111, 117-111 and 117-112 by the judges at ringside.
Foster would go on to defeat Commonwealth titlist Ashley Lane a mere two months later, in what was an enthralling back and forth affair. Foster amassed an early lead, flooring his opponent in the first round and appearing to be in complete control. However, the game Lane battled back and closed the margin significantly going into the final round, but Foster was not to be denied. He sent Lane to the canvas after a flurry of consecutive right hands in the closing minute. Lane made it to his feet, however he was swarmed by Foster and the referee stopped the bout with seconds to spare.
It is clear Foster is not a fighter who wants to rest on his laurels. After two twelve round fights in 3 months, both against tough domestic opposition, ‘the Blade’ could perhaps be forgiven for taking a few months sabbatical before assessing his options towards the end of 2019.
The Upper Echelons of British Level
On the contrary, the 21 year-old is going straight back in at the deep end as he prepares to fight the highly skilled Lucien Reid (8-0-1), in what will likely turn out to be the toughest fight of his career to date.
Many believe Reid is overdue a title opportunity; promotor issues coupled with periods of inactivity have perhaps caused his career to stagnate slightly. The Hackney native has had only four fights since 2016, which, in comparison to Foster’s seven, perhaps sheds some light on why he is only now finding himself in the upper echelons of British level.
What cannot be questioned, however, is Reid’s raw boxing ability. The 25 year-old is a former ABA champion and his skills seem to have transferred seamlessly to the pro ranks, the only blip in his career so far coming in his last bout – a technical draw due to a clash of heads. On paper, Reid should be streets ahead of Foster in terms of boxing pedigree; Foster made the switch from kickboxing and has no notable amateur background to speak of.
There can be no foregone conclusions though. Foster has appeared to be overmatched before, yet has proven himself to be far beyond a small-hall slugger. In his previous two fights he has shown he can be elusive whilst maintaining the ability to hurt and indeed finish his opponents. Reid, despite perhaps being the more well schooled pugilist, will have his work cut out if he hopes to emerge with the titles he has so long yearned for.