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World Boxing Federation Champions Of The Past: Robin Reid

Posted on August 7 2015                                              Bookmark and Share
By: Clive Baum



Since the World Boxing Federation was originally founded by American Larry Carrier in 1988, many of the sport’s biggest names have won a WBF title, and proudly defended the blue, red and gold belt all over the world.

In the Champions Of The Past Series we take a closer look at some of the boxers who held WBF titles in years gone by, from lesser known champions to world renowned fighters, legends of the sport and current or future Hall of Famers.


Former WBF World Super Middleweight Champion Robin Reid was born in the village of Sefton in Merseyside, England on February 19 1971. He started boxing at a young age, and embarked on a very successful amateur career, highlighted by winning bronze at Light Middleweight in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.

In February of 1993 he turned professional with a first round stoppage of Mark Lee Dawson (5-2) at the Goresbrook Leisure Centre in East London suburb Dagenham, as part of the undercard of a British Heavyweight title fight between Herbie Hide and Michael Murray.

He won another four bouts against the usual journeymen opponents, before disappointingly finishing his first year in the paid ranks with a six-round draw in Manchester against Danny Juma (0-1). While it was widely known that Reid had a lot of talent, the Juma encounter didn’t bode too well for the future.

Reid got back to winning ways though, and won his next sixteen fights, including a rematch with Juma, without too many problems. However, despite his menacing “Grim Reaper” moniker he had not faced anyone of note, and most of his triumphs came against opponents with more losses than victories.

So, with a 21-0-1 ledger but without even a scheduled ten-rounder on his resume, he was not exactly a massive favorite when he traveled to Milan, Italy to challenge WBC world champion Vincenzo Nardiello (30-5) in October of 1996.

But, the 25-year-old Reid proved his doubters wrong and fought the local hero on even terms in the first half of the fight, before pulling off the upset by stopping Nardiello, who had won the crown only three months earlier, in round seven.

Reid made three successful defenses of the WBC title, against Giovanni Pretorius (22-0-1), Henry Wharton (25-2-1) and Hacine Cherifi (24-2-1), before losing it to Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga (41-10) just before Christmas of 1997. Both Malinga and Reid had the WBF world title in their future!

The Grim Reaper” fought only once in 1998, stopping Graham Townsend (8-3) in April on a massive Manchester bill promoted by Frank Warren. It was a low profile bout, but it eventually proved to be the only action Reid would see before getting a shot against WBO world champion Joe Calzaghe (25-0) ten months later.

On February 13 1999 in Newcastle, Reid gave Calzaghe, who would eventually retire undefeated at 46-0 and get inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, what many call one of his toughest fights. But while one judge had Reid winning 116-111, the other two scored it the same for the Welshman, awarding him the split decision victory.

The great performance against Calzaghe was followed by a fourteen month lay-off, and when Reid returned to the ring in June of 2000 against Italian Silvio Branco (39-4-2) he didn’t look himself, losing a clear unanimous decision on the Mike Tyson vs. Lou Savarese undercard at Hampden Park in Glasgow.

But Robin Reid was far from done. His team secured him another world title shot, and he was scheduled to face Ron Martinez for the vacant WBF title the following December. But the American failed his medicals and, to save to show, Reid fought late replacement Mike Gormley (11-2) and proved he was a level above with a first round knockout.

While he ended up with a somewhat easy assignment to win his second world championship, Reid had a very successful reign as WBF champ. He made his first defense in May 2001, impressively stopping tough Russian Roman Babaev (18-15-1) in three rounds at the Wembley Arena in London.

Next up was a fourth round destruction of South African Soon Botes (21-7) two months later in Liverpool, before another demolition job (KO 3) of South American champion Jorge Andres Sclarandi (26-16-1) from Argentina in October.

Keeping an amazingly busy schedule, Reid managed to squeeze in fourth world title defense before the end of that year, putting on an impressive performance to win a unanimous decision over another Argentinean, former WBA world champion Julio Cesar Vasquez (63-3).

Taking a deserved break, it would be seven months before Reid returned to the ring. But again it would be against Argentinean opposition, as capable Francisco Antonio Mora (34-5) was next in line with an attempt to dethrone the WBF king in July 2002 at the Wembley Conference Centre in London.

Tough as they come, “El Chino” Mora survived knockdowns in rounds three and six to go the full distance, doing his very best to turn the tide, but in the end Reid was too good for him and retained his crown with a clear unanimous decision.

This would be the last defense Reid made of the WBF world title. In his next four bouts he stopped mediocre adversaries, before getting a crack at WBA and IBF champion Sven Ottke (32-0) in Nuremberg, Germany on December 13 2003.

Ottke won the fight by unanimous decision, but in the aftermath referee Roger Tilleman was heavily criticized for a less-than-neutral performance that massively favoured the home-town hero. After missing a knock-down in round six for Reid, instead ruling it a slip, Tilleman deducted a point from Reid for a phantom head-butt.

The fight against Ottke proved that Reid had plenty more to offer at world level, and in June 2004 he challenged Irishman Brian Magee for his IBO world title at the legendary Kings Hall in Belfast.

Making his eighth defense of a very impressive reign, Magee was considered the favorite but Reid silenced the loud local fans by scoring four knock-downs and a deserved unanimous decision to lift his third world championship in very impressive fashion.

The Magee fight turned out to be the last big victory for Reid. He won a stay-busy fight over six rounds in February 2005 against Ramdane Serdjane (17-16-2), and then lost (TKO 7) his IBO belt in a unification fight with IBF ruler Jeff Lacy (19-0) the following August in Tampa, Florida.

In 2007 Reid was stopped by future super-star Carl Froch (21-0) in a British title fight, and he generally had mixed results before calling it a day in late 2012 after another British title-challenge (L TKO 5) against Kenny Anderson (17-1) in Sheffield.

Robin Reid went undefeated as World Boxing Federation World Super Middleweight Champion, making five successful defenses. He fought some of the best of his era and retired at age 41 with a fine professional record of 42-8-1 (29).

As an interesting side-note, the former world champion worked as a judge in three WBF title fights in 2014, doing a fine job.

  Part 19: Lionel Butler
  Part 18: Mads Larsen
  Part 17: Ken Sigurani
  Part 16: Orlando Fernandez
  Part 15: Roger Turner
  Part 14: Roy Jones Jr.
  Part 13: Fitz Vanderpool
  Part 12: Steve Roberts
  Part 11: Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga
  Part 10: Junior Witter
  Part 9: Jimmy Thunder
  Part 8: Juan Lazcano
  Part 7: Jeff Malcolm
  Part 6: Ricky Parkey
  Part 5: Carl Daniels
  Part 4: Angel Manfredy
  Part 3: Samson Dutch Boy Gym
  Part 2: Greg Haugen
  Part 1: Johnny Nelson
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