Exclusive Interview: Johnathan Reid

By Ray O. Campbell Jr


Exclusive Interview: Johnathan Reid

Over the weekend Boxingtalk.com spoke with The Contender’s Jonathan “Reid Dawg” Reid.33-3(19), to get his thoughts on his most recent performance against Miguel Espino, a disappointing 5th round TKO loss with 12 seconds remaining in the fight. Which took place on the non-televised undercard of the October 15th rematch card headlined by Season one finalists Sergio Mora and Peter Manfredo. Also, in this one on one exclusive, Reid, a former WBA Middleweight world title challenger tells us all about his overall contender experience, his heart touching testimony about his efforts to help a ten year old girl in Honduras who needs a kidney transplant, as well as his take on the outcome of last weekend’s fights, plus much much more in this very insightful must read for all Boxing and Contender fans.

RC: What’s going on Jonathan?
JR: Same old stuff man

RC: Your most recent fight against Miguel Espino took place last Saturday night on the non televised undercard of the Manfredo-Mora II bout, since only those on hand at the Staples Center got a chance to see your fight, Give us a run down and your thoughts?
JR: You know training camp went well, I was training with Sergio Mora, going into the fight we had everything planned and the plan was working because I knocked Miguel down with a good right hand, which we knew he would be open for, and I didn’t finish him in the first round as far as the referee stopping it. But I thought I did enough for the referee to step in and stop the fight, but the fight went on.

Miguel is a person that throws a lot of punches. So he was smothering a lot of my stuff out, but you know I believe we were still in the fight. The fight I think would have been real close but I think I would have came out victorious if it had went to the score cards, but in the fifth round Miguel was throwing a flurry, I was on the ropes, he wasn’t hurting me or anything he was just throwing a bunch of punches in bunches man, and the referee just jumped in and stopped it. I was in Ahhh, I was like man what in the world?

You know usually a fighter would jump up and get in the referee’s face but it was…. I guess you can say I was in shock. I looked out into the crowd and noticed some people looking like “What did they stop it for?” But you know I can’t cry over spilled milk, because if I would have got the job done in the first round or any time after that, then we
wouldn’t be having this conversation.

RC: So where do you go from here? The last time you fought before you faced Espino, it was during the taping of the show when you faced Jessie Brinkley which is like a 14 month layoff, at age 33 (Today 10/24/2005 is his birthday) that cant be too good for you, you aren’t getting any younger, where do you go from here do you plan on fighting again much sooner than later?
JR: I would like to, to my understanding I am able to fight under another promotion other than the Contender. But I have to inform the powers that be if someone calls me for a fight. You know I would have to go through the proper channels. And if it is a fight that is smart for me to take then we will. My main thing is I want to get a rematch with Miguel. I don’t know if he will do that, because what good would that serve him? He has accomplished something, which obviously is something good to accomplish in boxing. You know a guy with his record, coming in with a 9-2 record and beating a guy with a record like mine that is a big plus for him. So I don’t even know why he would take the fight.

RC: How about a rematch with Jessie Brinkley, he seems to be one of the main guys they want to promote and the both of you are coming off two straight losses …well actually he officially won the fight but many felt he lost to Anthony Bonsante. Maybe that would be a good match for the both of you to kind of work your way back into the scheme of things?
JR: Hey it is all good; Jessie said that he would give me a rematch after he beat me on the show. But we are not the ones that control all of that. If that is what comes, then that is what we will take and we will train for him and definitely beat him the way it would convince the judges so they won’t give it away.

RC: What did you think about Jessie Brinkley’s fight again Anthony Bonsante?
JR: I thought Anthony did everything he needed to do to win, but like I said man we can’t control it. If we can control the judges then a lot of things would turn out the way we want them to turn out all of the time. I think that the judging seriously should be done by people who have boxed before. A lot of the judges are people that don’t even know anything about boxing, other than what they have seen on T.V.

RC: Some feel that the judges are actually persuaded by what they saw on the show, and some even go as far as feeling that they handlers of the show have a lot to do with the outcome of these fights even though they are sanctioned by the respective state’s athletic commission. What are your thoughts on that?
JR: I would have to say no because I don’t have any factual information but you know I wouldn’t put that beside anybody.

RC: Give us your thoughts on the Peter Manfredo Jr. –vs. - Sergio Mora bout in which many felt Peter won, now I know you were in camp with Sergio Mora, but give us your take as a professional boxer watching the bout?
JR: The fight was a lot closer than their fight was in the Finale. You know the Finale was hands down Sergio, this time I believe that people thought that Sergio would beat Peter as easily as he did in the first match. In Sergio’s defense, and I am not trying to come up with any excuses for him, but during training camp. Sergio got sick, he caught the flu.  And like two weeks prior to the fight he couldn’t do any training so his sparring was cut out and things of that nature. I believe Sergio won the fight, the fight was close, but you couldn’t argue if they would have given the fight to Peter either.

RC: At this point in your career, would you prefer to fight within The Contender circle or move on? I mean, ideally if Jonathon Reid had his way how would it be?
JR: Well I would like to continue to fight for them with the option of being able to fight elsewhere if the opportunity presents itself. It is a good promotion to fight for as far as, they were good to everybody that was on the show as far as making money that we probably wouldn’t have made if we weren’t on the show. We had the opportunity to make more money, but the thing is just being fair with the judging and trying not to get the referees to jump the gun too soon. I understand why some of the referees do it because of some of the tragedies that have been happening in boxing during the last month or so, but I think they need to use a little more discretion. And stop jumping the gun, especially on stopping the fight with Big Daddy like that.

RC: (I start to laugh)
JR: A boxer is always one punch away. I could have thrown a punch in the last twelve seconds that could have ended the whole fight, I mean who knows.

RC: Now it isn’t the referee’s job to keep time in the ring, but does it bother you that it was only 12 seconds left in the bout when the fight was stopped?
JR: Man it is sickening, I mean once I found out what the time was I was like OH – MY – GOD. What in the world is this cat doing. If you looked at Miguel after the fight was over, you would think the man got hit by a truck. If you looked at me, you would think I was just coming from singing out of the church choir or something.

RC: Ishe Smith has always been outspoken here on Boxingtalk.com about how he feels about the Contender handlers, and Peter Manfredo recently came on the record after his fight and stated he no longer wants to be a part of them because he felt that leading up to the fight he wasn’t being treated fairly, have you ever felt that way and what are your thoughts on the both of them no longer wanting to be a part of the contender?
JR: I guess I can understand Peter, you know after his decision a fighter has a fight that thinks he did everything he needed to do to win and its get taken from him by the scorecards. During the show I don’t think that I was treated any different from anyone else. I really wasn’t on there long enough to find out how everybody else was treated, I got eliminated in the second episode. So a lot of the guys were around the Hoopla if you will, longer than I was so I would say that I was treated fine. But what happened after that, after I was gone and put into the second house I couldn’t tell you man.

RC: A few people that I know, and I am in agreement with them on this one, mentioned that during your little bit of air time on the show. They really didn’t portray the down to earth former world title challenger, extremely funny and personable side of Jonathan Reid. What are your thoughts on your scenes on the show, and do you felt as if they portrayed you like you really are?
 JR: Well I can say yes only because I wasn’t on there long enough for the people to really get to know me. If you notice on the show everybody that lasted longer than I did, their personalities were portrayed more. You know why show this Mama Jamma when he got eliminated in the second cotton picking episode. You know during my particular episode or any episode of the fighters coming up, they would show more of the fighter’s personality more. But as the show went on and it got down to the final eight, they were starting to show more personalities of the different guys.

One thing that the viewers probably missed is…… you know a T.V. show can be edited the way it wants to be edited,. You know a lot of people may misunderstand the way Ishe was portrayed on the show. They show him getting mad when Anthony pulls Brent to the line instead of pulling who he said he was going to pull to the line. Ishe went ballistic on it; you know I understand Ishe’s point in getting upset. I believe that Ishe’s point in getting upset was if you and I are suppose to be men, and I trust that you are a man of your word, and if you say you are going to do a certain thing, then I expect you to do that as a man. But when you are looking at Reality television, all of the guys that were there believed that they would be the one to get the Million. Of course I can say that I wasn’t the one that won the million, but I did going in saying that I got this money.

Everybody had a different tactic in order to get closer to the million dollars. And I believe that is what Anthony Bonsante thought about when it came for his time to fight. He probably said “Well this guy can give me a little more trouble than this guy, I think I am going to take this guy, so I can stay in there a little longer” and you cant blame him for that, the man was going for a million dollars.

RC: You just mentioned Ishe Smith went Ballistic, do you feel that they portrayed him the way he really is?
JR: Of course not, I have gotten to know him since the show and after the show. Ishe is not like that, but everybody has a button that you can push that causes a man to get angry. A lot of people that look at Christians think, they think well this person is a Christian so he is not supposed to get mad because he believes in Jesus Christ. People think that you are not human if you say that you are Christian, but you know Christians can get angry too. I am sure T.D. Jakes gets mad in his own time, but you wont see him getting mad in public or doing certain things that people would be like “ooh is he really suppose to be doing that because he is a preacher” everybody has a button that you can push man, Jesus got angry.

People want to take and blow a person saying that they are a Christian out of portion. Once you have that title on you that “ I am a Christian” then people start to do a checklist on you, they say “ Well he is a Christian, he shouldn’t do this, he shouldn’t look at that, he shouldn’t be hanging around these people” just different stuff, silly stuff. Sometimes I get mad, every now and then you might catch a curse word coming out of my mouth. But does that mean that I don’t love the lord?......No!

RC: Jonathan, why don’t you give us your thoughts on your overall Contender Experience?
JR: My overall Contender experience was great; of course I wish it would have been me to win the million. My wife and I wouldn’t have to work so hard when I am not fighting. I think it was good as far as getting publicity and people being able to see my face as well as the other guys face on television, because if you are not seen your face is not out there. A lot of times people read about you they forget about you (As a fighter). But when they see you, then the inventory stays there. I have had a lot of different phone calls as far as doing different shows. I have had a chance to go to Honduras since the show and help out a young lady who needs a kidney. She is ten years old and she needs a kidney within the next six months or she can be leaving here according to her doctors, but you know there is a higher power that can change all of that. But I am not going to confuse the people with all of that because they might get a little touchy…

RC:  (Cutting in) J. Reid if you want to talk to the people, you are more than welcome…. If you want we can put it out there just like that.
JR: You know I do have some things I want to talk about. I know people like to read, they looking at Boxingtalk.com and all of these other websites and that is how you can get to the folks that didn’t get to see what is going on. You know I lost the fight, I don’t want to take anything from Miguel, he won, and I am sure in his mind he feels he believes he did what he had to do to win. But even my dad has been calling me since the lost, just blowing my phone up man. He called me the other day and left me a message he said “Son, I know you probably don’t want to talk right now, but is there a number or something or somebody I can call down there in California to find out what the hell is going on and why they didn’t show your fight on T.V.”

But you see boxing as well as other sports is very political. And when you are messing with politics you have to be careful, when you are messing with politics you can do the wrong thing or say the wrong thing and find yourself being black balled or sitting on the shelf. I do what I do, and when I do it I do the do man. But the show was great, everybody on the show was wonderful, you had different personalities, but I guess because of my background and being incarcerated for three years, dealing with the different personalities, or the personalities that was there that we dealt with on the show didn’t bother me because I have seen worse. I mean being there on the show, heck I was in cotton picking heaven man. Being there compared to being in the jail cell of course I was in heaven. When the guys got into it because they were tripping on something I just laughed to myself, tried to stay focus and keep doing what I was doing.

RC: You mentioned that you have the right to go out and get fights on your own, but are their any talks about possibly getting a shot on the televised portion of one of their cards? I mean what has the conversation been like between you and powers that be over at the contender?
JR: Man….. In boxing they say you are only as good as your last dawgon fight, and unfortunately they have it on record that Jonathan Reid was stopped by Miguel Espino by TKO in the last round of the cotton picking fight. There were talks about being on the show before the 15th. I don’t know what is going to happen now that I got a loss on my record from my last fight. I am just playing everything by ear. I am sure I could put myself out there and be like hey let me fight on the show, but the state of California suspends a Mama Jamma for 45 days for a TKO. So I gotta wait, so I won’t be able to fight until after November 29th anyway. I already counted it up; November 29th will be my 45th day. That is if they include Sundays.

RC: So what do you do when you aren’t preparing for a fight?
JR: Well when I am not fighting I am a personal trainer, I teach a boxing class as well as working with people on trying to get their body right. When I am not fighting that is what I do, then when I do have a fight coming up I usually leave and go to camp somewhere, and when I go to camp I just tell my clients we will pick off where we left off

RC: Do you keep in contact with any of the other participants of the show?
JR: Yeah I do, I e-mail Tarick back and forth, and I peak to Ishe every now and then. Of course I talk to Sergio; I talk to Brent because we live here in the same hometown. But some of the others I was… I did keep in touch with Jessie for a little bit until everybody started training and getting ready for the fight and we really didn’t know who we were fighting. You know different names were being thrown out, at first they were talking about me fighting Miguel, Jessie or Anthony Bonsante, so when all of that was going on, all conversation and all emails just stopped because we didn’t know what was happening. They even offered Ishe a fight with me, they offered Juan De La Rosa to fight with me, but Jesus Man if you want a Mamma Jamma to fight just get it out there and let it be done and let’s get it on.

RC: If you don’t face Miguel or Jessie in a rematch, is there any other contender you’d like to fight?
JR: Honestly no, and not because I don’t think I can handle myself with them I just think it is getting old. I mean you put the money behind the guys but now you want us to keep battling in each other? I mean why cant we fight somebody else, and we can all be rooting for the people we were on the show with us to be victorious. Why not have us fighting someone else and set up a camp where all of us can work with each other and help each other get ready for a particular fight. Out of all of the fighters on the show, I am sure if lets say someone like Ishe had to fight someone out of the Contender family or I had to fight someone out of the Contender family, I am sure one of us out of the 15 that is left has the style of the person one of us would have to meet in the ring and it would be good to work with in the gym.

Or they can let us pot some pot knots on some of the guys that they are going to choose for the Contender II. Let us be the so called, I don’t want to say sparring partners because I think that is a bad word for somebody that can get in there and do his thing.


Send questions and comments to: rayocampbelljr@hotmail.com