Rising boxing star Darren Reay seems hardwired for success in the ring after securing his latest win featuring on the undercard of one of the UK’s biggest fights of the year, writes Gordon Arnott.
The Bernicia electrician scored a first-round stoppage win at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, just after Lewis Ritson’s unsuccessful attempt to win the European lightweight crown live on Sky Sports.
Darren’s quick-fire victory in just 85 seconds was his fourth win in five fights as a professional and an important stepping stone to raising his profile nationally with fight fans.
His next bout is scheduled for December 13, at the NewcastleGateshead Hilton Hotel, promoted by his management team MTK Global.
Darren, 28, first pulled on the gloves at Bedlington Amateur Boxing Club as an 11-year-old.
“I always watched boxing with my Dad and around that time Ricky Hatton was massive, and being a Northern lad and a bit of a rags to riches story, he was good to watch and I was hooked,” said Darren, who is a gifted sportsman.
“I had a good amateur career and it collided with my football. I had a few trials at different clubs when I was 16 or 17 and at that time I got to the quarter-final of the English Boxing Championships.
“I had a trial with Scottish Premier League club Motherwell and I decided to put everything into football. When I was 20, I was playing at semi-professional level in the Northern League when I damaged my cruciate ligament.”
The serious injury ended Darren’s aspirations in top-level football, but during his recuperation, he rekindled his love of boxing.
“I didn’t play for 18 months and to get my fitness back I got back into boxing,” he said. “I’d put weight on and boxing helped me trim down.”
Darren fits his boxing training around his career as an electrician with Bernicia’s Property Maintenance Division in Ashington.
He started his working life as a 16-year-old apprentice electrician with Wansbeck District Council and has worked for Bernicia since its formation. “I love my job, I always have, and the company is really supportive of me and what I do,” he said.
His move to MTK Global, which manages some of the hottest properties in the sport, offering its fighters training facilities across the UK and in Marbella, has opened new doors to the ambitious fighter, who was born in Cambois and now lives in Bedlington.
“It’s made a massive difference,” said Darren, who fights at lightweight. “They are getting me fighting regularly with their contacts – I’ve had three fights in six months.”
Darren kept his fans waiting to see him on his latest Sky Sports TV appearance on the Lewis Ritson undercard, but it was well worth the wait.
“I was a live float on the night and could have been on before the main event but that fight went 12 rounds,” he said. “Then the main event went 12 rounds as well and I came on after that. It was about 11.40pm and people had been waiting from five o’clock to see me. When I got into the ring, the fight didn’t last long, I knocked him out in 85 seconds.”