It’s a hard road for some, but Jordan Reynolds is staying positive as he develops his professional career, writes John Dennen
JORDAN REYNOLDS turned professional at the worst time. In March of last 2020, he left the GB squad, only to see the sport across the country and the world, shutdown in the first lockdown. But he made sure he stayed positive.
“I didn’t stop. I kept busy. I did a hell of a lot for my community while lockdown was going on,” Reynolds said. “I made the best out of bad situation.”
He began doing deliveries of healthy food in his local area, keeping in touch with people. “People were really suffering,” he said. “I just want to give back.
“We just wanted to make everyone positive.”
Reynolds is full of empathy for the problems people are suffering with. In his own childhood he went through hardship and adverse experiences. “I know how it is. I had nothing,” Reynolds said. “When you’re stuck in the bubble and you’re on the estate you think that’s all there is in life… I just want to give people the hope. I was in and out of refuges, I was homeless and what not, I’ve seen a lot of abusive stuff growing up.”
“I had everything against me in life. I was a very confused kid, a very emotional kid,” he continued. “Some abusive stuff in the house, which was caused by alcohol and bitterness, that was always growing up.
“I had so much hate. I was just a product of my environment.”
But he changed. “It’s possible, no matter your circumstances, you don’t have to be the most talented as long as you work hard, you’ll get there. It’s simple as that. There’s always someone there who’s more talented and what not. But I believe sticking at it, working hard, you always overtake them and that’s what I’ve always done,” Reynolds reflected. “Time goes on and you realise things as you grow up.
“It’s alright not to be alright. It’s alright to have a little cry here and there and talk to someone, because you know what, you feel better after.”
Boxing helped him. “Even when I was at West Ham [as an amateur], I was first in the gym, the last one out. I was always in the gym, I was getting black eyes every week,” he said. “Going to a boxing gym, it releases everything, it humbles you. I just wanted always to fight … until I went to a boxing gym and I got put on my arse.
“It humbled me and it kept me disciplined.”
He had a good amateur career, losing to Ben Whittaker in the ABA finals before winning the Elite national championship at 75kgs in 2018 as well as picking up some good international wins with GB. Finally he got to make his pro debut in March of this year, boxing Robbie Chapman at just under the super-middleweight limit.
“I jumped straight into the deep end. I didn’t have a journeyman who just lays down or runs around. He came to win. Robbie Chapman’s been around the block. He’s tough, durable. I believe I could have got him out there, if I had forced the pace and got scrappier. But from my amateur pedigree I’ve learned, when I’m winning, I’m winning. Especially with those little gloves, it’s different now. It takes one shot and that’s it,” Reynolds said. “He’s basically a seasoned pro, he’s fought for the Southern Area title and things like that. So he’s a seasoned pro.”
He is now settling in with Alan Smith at the iBox gym, beating Jan Ardon in June and he will be looking to go 3-0 at the end of this month or in October. “I was based in Ireland for a while, I wanted to get out of England, just keep away from distractions and what not, but I needed to be a bit nearer to my family. For my second pro fight I’ve been based in south London with Al Smith at iBox and Eddie Lam,” he said. “Great gym, great people, great boxers, second pro fight was against Jan Ardon, who’s caused some real upsets. You seen what he done with John Hedges and he brought his strength to Ricky Hatton’s boy [Brett McGinty who Hatton trains], he nearly put him over. So he was a dangerous fighter. I dealt with him very well. I showed my attributes. I showed what I needed to show. Everyone knows I can have a war, everyone knows I’m tough, I can take a shot. But I’m showing that my defence is improving massively, I think that’s the main thing.
“That was at middleweight as well. I’ll be going down to super-welterweight I reckon. I made the weight quite comfortable last time and still eating a lot. I’m just using this year as a learning year.”
Reynolds plans to continue to improve and hopes eventually to rise up the ranks of Britain’s exciting super-welterweight division. “It’s buzzing, it’s great for the fight fans, it’s great to be amongst it all and make some big fights for the future,” he says.
The last 18 months have been trying but with Reynolds’ former teammates, that exciting group of GB of Olympians, looking to turnover, and with other prospects establishing themselves, the sport in the UK should experience an upswing. “[For the Olympians] I’m delighted for them all,” Jordan said. “Boxing in England is buzzing right now. It’s a great time to be in boxing.
“We’re all on different journeys. I wish the best for absolutely anyone in boxing because it’s a hard old game.”