Q&A with Bradley Rea

.

1. So first of all, what made you get in to boxing?

A: At first it was just to lose a bit of weight when I was younger and to gain some fitness. I played football like most kids so though it might help, but I soon fell in love with boxing and the football got binned off.

2. You had nearly 100 fights as an amateur which compared to others is a lot, was that planned from early on in your amateur career or did it just develop over time?

A: I just wanted to stay as busy as possible. I just loved the sport and competing so I would take every opportunity that came my way. Even now I’m the same, I would box every week if they let me. The past 12 months have been difficult for me.

3. At what stage was it where you really fell in love with boxing?

A: I would say when I first started sparring. I think with a lot of young kids it goes one of two ways when sparring. Either they cop for a punch in the face and think “this isn’t for me”, or they think “right I need to get you back now”. For me I was just always trying to better myself and improve my skill set and I’ve not looked back since.

4. Was there a particular fighter you looked up to when you were younger that gave you a bit of extra motivation?

A: Being a Manchester lad I was a massive Hatton fan growing up. Then when Ricky retired I would follow Crolla all over watching his fights. I have a good relationship with both now and it really motivates me seeing what they did for Manchester and the sport of boxing and hopefully one day I can be spoken about in the same way.

5. You're a Manchester lad and a proud one too, how good was it fighting at the Manchester Arena last year?

A: It’s been my dream since I was a 10 year old kid to box at Manchester arena. From seeing Rick box there and the likes of Crolla and Quigg more recently, it’s always been a goal of mine to tick off the list. Hopefully one day I can do it in front of a packed out crowd winning titles.

6. You've sparred the likes of Jack Cullen, Liam Williams & Liam Smith - Just how good were those experiences?

A: You can’t buy the experience you get when mixing it with elite level fighters. I did as much sparring with more experienced fighters as I could early on in my career and I think it’s been so beneficial and fast tracked me to where I am now.

7. Who would you say the best fighter is you've ever shared a ring with be it in the amateurs or sparring?

A: I’ve been in with some great fighters but I think Liam Smith stands out. He looks very basic on the TV, not in a disrespectful way but he just does everything well, nothing out of the ordinary. When I had him in front of me I realised the difference in levels, he was very clever and would set traps that I was falling for every time. That spar helped me a lot.

8. On to this weekends fight, what do you know about your opponent Lee Cutler?

A: Cutler is a very very tough fight for me. He brings a bit of everything to the table so I know I have a hard nights work ahead of me. I’ve had the best camp so for for this fight and I’m in the best possible shape so although I don’t expect it to be easy, I’m extremely confident on getting the win.

9. You've become a bit of a ticket seller in Manchester with plenty of support, how are you feeling about fighting in front of no crowd on Saturday?

A: It’s new and different but all good fighters can adapt and that is what I’ll have to do. I’ll miss having my friends and family there no doubt but as soon as that first bell rings I have a job to do and I’ll be focused on getting the win.

10. Finally, the best piece of advice anyone in boxing has ever given you?

A: Enjoy every moment as it doesn’t last forever. This is a huge opportunity for me and I plan on enjoying it and grabbing it with both hands. Expect fireworks this Saturday night.

A big thank you to Brad for his time and here's hoping he puts on a big performance this weekend!

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