Ring legend Calzghe offers Reece advice

Morecambe prospect Reece MacMillan with fight great Joe Calzaghe.
Morecambe prospect Reece MacMillan with fight great Joe Calzaghe.

Reece MacMillan hopes some words of wisdom from fight great Joe Calzaghe will stand him in good stead for his third professional fight.

The Morecambe welterweight met the undefeated former multi-time world super middleweight champion at a dinner in Warrington, and was keen to grab some advice.

And the 20-year-old says he will take it into his fight with veteran journeyman Youssef Al Hamidi in Manchester on Friday night, November 18.

“He was a really nice fella,” said MacMillan.

“He told me to train hard and keep fit. It was just really good to have a chat with him.

“Someone with his experience, who didn’t lose as a pro and barely as an amateur, it was great.

“People like him can be cocky because of what they’ve achieved, but he was really down to earth and had a lot of time for people.”

The result against Al Hamidi looks like a formality on paper, the 38-year-old having lost 97 of his 113 fights.

One of his 13 wins, however, came against former world lightweight champion Anthony Crolla back in 2008, a defeat the Manchester favourite later avenged.

Al Hamidi has also gone the distance with current world champions Ricky Burns and Lee Selby.

As for MacMillan, he will be hoping to make it three wins out of three at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre after opening up with victories over Giuseppe Daprato and Alec Bazza.

“He’s a journeyman but he can fight,” said the former Skerton ABC man.

“He’s got that win over Anthony Crolla, and has been in with a lot of good guys over the years like John Murray and others.

“I’m sure I’ll learn a few things from him, but I don’t focus on my opponent, I focus on myself.

“If I’m at the top of my game I can make a big statement.”

MacMillan’s training situation has changed again ahead of the fight.

Having first worked with manager Kieran Farrell, who is promoting Friday’s show, in Middleton, he then went on to put the hard yards in at Johnney Roye’s gym in Preston.

Now, however, he is at Coastal ABC on West End Road in Morecambe under the watchful eye of John Donaghy.

The former Morecambe High School pupil admits it’s been tough juggling his job doing groundwork and putting in the necessary training to make sure his promising ring career kicks on.

“I’ve had a bit of a change in that I’m in Morecambe now,” said MacMillan, who hopes to have 100 fans supporting him.

“With work I was struggling to travel, so it makes sense. After work and then training I was getting in at nine or 10 at night.

“I’m with John Donaghy, who is a good friend of Kieran’s from Preston.

“It’s going well. We’re working on different stuff and looking at the things I’m doing wrong.

“We’re in Coastal a few nights a week.

“Frank (Harrington, who runs Coastal) lets us use it and we go in there and do our own thing.

“When I get full-time I’ll be able to travel a bit more if I need to but with working this is what makes sense at the moment.”

lCoastal ABC are running a show at Lancaster and Morecambe College this Sunday, November 20.

The 17-fight card kicks off at 12.30pm in the sports centre.

For tickets, priced £15 standing or £25 as part of a table, call Frank Harrington on 07789 26176.