Mike Reed still remembers the day seven years ago when he first walked into Dream Team Boxing Gym in Clinton.
Then an open canvass waiting to be filled with equipment, Reed’s father, Michael “Buck” Pinson, the gym’s owner and operator, had big plans for the space. So he solicited the help of his sons.
Reed has four older brothers and one younger brother. Included among them are Tyrell Newton and Victor Brown, both of whom helped cultivate Reed’s love of boxing since he turned 10. Being the youngest of the trio at the time, Reed’s job in helping start a gym that has since become a hotbed of boxing talent that houses the likes of heavyweight Seth Mitchell was simple.
“I was on the cleanup crew,” Reed said. “Every now and then my dad would ask me to measure something or where I thought the speed bags should go. But there was a lot of sawdust in the gym as we built the ring, so he would have me sweeping up the sawdust most of the time.”
Reed, 20, nicknamed “Yes Indeed,” doesn’t have to worry much anymore about sweeping up sawdust — just brushing away his next opponent.
The recently-turned professional fighter is 5-0 with four knockouts in his young career and is scheduled to spar another undefeated boxer, Randy Fuentes (McAllen, Tex.), on Friday at Rosecroft Raceway in a six-round fight.
“I feel as though after turning pro in March I’m definitely moving at a good pace,” said Reed, who was born in Washington, D.C., but now lives in Waldorf. “I’m trying to fight every month because the most important thing to do as a professional is stay active.”
Reed’s boxing career nearly was over before it began. The 5-foot-6, 140-pound pugilist out of Westlake High School lost his first four amateur fights. He thought long and hard about whether or not boxing truly was something he wanted to do. In the past, Reed played youth football and basketball, but quit those team sports because he said he couldn’t handle the losing. Now in a sport where so much pressure is placed on the individual as opposed to the team, Reed slipped at the start.
“I wanted to stop boxing after my fourth fight,” said Reed, who earned his catchy nickname from his ninth-grade teacher while they watched highlights. “But my dad, he saw good potential in me. He saw potential that I didn’t see in myself and he told me I can’t quit. That I needed to keep going. Ever since then, the rest is history.”
Reed, a southpaw, won his next 16 amateur bouts and went on to dominate the circuit. He’s competed in nine states spanning from Colorado to Georgia, won five national titles in various competitions (Ringsides, Golden Gloves, Silver Gloves) and accumulated a 90-13 amateur record before making the jump to the professional ranks. His father’s been with him every step of the way.
“Our father and son relationship works out great in boxing because I know him better than anyone,” Pinson said via email. “I know when he’s not having a good day, and when he is. I know so many things about his personal life, and when he’s having a problem, he knows he can come talk to me.”
In addition to training throughout the week, Reed attends school at the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata where he’s studying to be an accountant.
“The biggest thing I’ve taken away from the start of my career is I can kind of see why fighters don’t want to retire,” said Reed, who has yet to sign with a promoter but has attracted a great deal of interest. “The feeling of hearing your name chanted in the ring is an amazing feeling and sharing that with friends and family is special.
“That’s one of the things that drives me. Since I was a little kid, I’ve always had a good support system, but with me being a professional fighter, it has grown a lot.”