You would think when a trainer has worked with 23 world champions and is in the World Boxing Hall of Fame on the West Coast the IBHOF on the East Coast would wake up and induct this man Jesse Reid.
They say boxing has its politics and Reid’s non induction into the IBHOF proves that. This writer did a story for Doghouse Boxing back in 2007 about four people who should be inducted in the IBHOF. Two of the four have since been inducted in Harold Lederman and Steve “Double SS” Smoger. For some reason the woman I consider the best woman boxer in the history of the sport Lucia Rijker still hasn’t been inducted. The other is Reid.
Reid is a man’s man and is a no nonsense boxing trainer now out of Burbank, CA. He doesn’t just train boxers anymore and it seems that’s the story for many trainers. There is always a steady income from the non-boxers unlike awaiting a boxer’s next fight to get your 10%. How no nonsense has he been? Walked out on training Mike Tyson after being asked “what do you like to do when you are not boxing?” He was told “sex and drugs!” Reid went back to his hotel room and started packing his bags when Tyson called him on the phone. Reid informed him he couldn’t put up with that and all the so-called boxing people around him giving their advice. “Oh come along for the ride like everyone else does,” said Tyson. Reid replied “I don’t need the ride that bad” and hung up.
I met Reid back around 1979 at Philly’s Spectrum when his boxer Jesse Burnett came in and upset Philly’s Jerry “The Bull” Martin, then 16-1, for the USBA and NABF light heavyweight titles. Reid and his son Jesse Jr. a well accomplished former cruiserweight with an 11-0-1 record compared to his father’s 5-1-2 record. His son now assists him with the boxers. In their most recent trip to Philadelphia I wanted to go into his boxer’s dressing room afterwards but the Pennsylvania Boxing Director Greg Sirb isn’t too keen on writers, especially this one. And you wonder why out of town boxers and trainers are not too excited coming back to Philadelphia?
I recently had a chance to talk to Reid who just turned 74, a year older than this writer but he is in a little better shape than I. Did I say a little? When I am asked “were you a fighter?” I reply “not a fighter, a writer. I was born with this face”. In Reid’s case he is proud to look like a fighter and that he still is. He fights for his fighters like every trainer should.
KEN HISSNER: I can’t believe I met you as far back as 1979 when you brought Jesse Burnett in and he upset Jerry “The Bull” Martin. Burnett was one of your favorites though never becoming a world champion wasn’t he?
JESSE REID: He beat Victor Galindez and drew with John Conteh whom he had down twice in the UK.
KEN HISSNER: You have worked with 23 world champions and many more that didn’t quite make it to the top I’m sure. Was Johnny Tapia one of the toughest?
JESSE REID: Him and Bruce Curry.
KEN HISSNER: One of those champions you worked with that just didn’t seem to have the discipline to reach greatness was Paul Spadafora. If he didn’t get in trouble outside of the ring how much more famous could this boxer who once beat up on Floyd Mayweather, Jr. in a sparring session have been?
JESSE REID: There would have been no stopping him. He had the reflexes of a lion. He had tremendous talent. He would get into a zone and you couldn’t hit him.
KEN HISSNER: Was it much different training your own son than working with other boxers?
JESSE REID: A lot different. That is why I had Kenny Adams work with him.
KEN HISSNER: You have had a working relationship with Top Rank for many years. I always felt Bruce Trampler helped Top Rank greatly. What do you say to that?
JESSE REID: I agree with that 100%. Without Bruce Trampler Top Rank would be in a lot of trouble.
KEN HISSNER: How has it been since working out of Burbank with non-boxers besides boxers?
JESSE REID: I enjoy working with people that people didn’t want to work with.
KEN HISSNER: Many of us in the boxing business feel you should be in the IBHOF. What do you think has prevented that so far?
JESSE REID: I would love to be there but I think its political bull shit
KEN HISSNER: I’ve had working relationships with such trainers as Cus D’Amato, Manny Steward, Eddie Futch, George Benton, Wesley Mouzon, and even today with “Bozy” Ennis. Like them you are a class act and a tribute to the sport of boxing. I want to thank you for always taking the time to talk to me whether you are busy or not.
JESSE REID: It’s always a pleasure to talk to you.