As a child, 18-year-old lightweight Louise “Lil Pacquiao” Reyes (7-3-0, 3 KOs) was drawn to Iron Mike Tyson’s ineffable quality for ruthless aggression.
It’s a trait the Toronto native worked hard to incorporate into his own game and at the Ontario Summer Games (OSG) this weekend, he intends to showcase it in form of a gold medal victory.
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Having recently competed at the Canadian Nationals (after only 7 bouts) and against Team Ireland in July, Reyes, the 2016 Novice Ontario lightweight champion (Bronze Gloves), feels these experiences have helped prepare him for the OSG.
Scheduling is not official yet, but it appears his first opponent at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga may be Jacob Robinson out of the Fighting Island Gym in Amherstburg.
“I’ve never been one to underestimate my opponent,” he said to MMA Crossfire in a phone interview at the MMA World Academy. “It [My previous experiences] will get me working harder. I’ll try to move around more and throw a bit more, in terms of combinations.”
Asked about his preparation, Reyes took the chance to talk about his trainer. “We train hard every time we get a chance,” he explained. “Boxing classes and sparring sessions. We go quite a few times a week.”
“He knows you have the talent, he pushes you hard and he puts all his faith in you, which gives you lots of confidence. I think unlike most other coaches, instead of yelling at you, he understands more. And he has the various techniques that really work in the ring.
“We’ve been through a lot together. We’ve been to Quebec and back, just me and him. It’s been one heck of a ride.”
Reyes, like many athletes competing at the Summer Games are aware of the exposure a gold medal can shine on the possibilities of advancing to Olympic competition.
“That’s the biggest goal we have, to make the 2020 Games,” Reyes said. “It’s also a great opportunity for boxers to learn other techniques. To see the various styles of fighting, aside from the gym.”
And while Reyes understandably hasn’t kept close tabs on the Rio Games, he did have a few thoughts on the Canadian Olympic boxing team.
“From what I’ve seen from Mandy (Bujold), I think she’ll do really well. I’m not sure of the other two fighters, because I haven’t seen them before,” Reyes said. “But, I’ve seen Mandy in person. She’s really quick, that’s the biggest thing about her. And she’s very aggressive.”
The road to the Olympics are paved with good intentions, but the affable Reyes takes it in a confident stride.
“Work hard, train hard, fight easy.”