Taylor Reed isn’t your average amateur boxer.
He’s been training in taekwondo since he was 5 years old and hasn’t had an off-season since.
When he signed up for professional boxer Jesse Uhde’s introductory boxing class in January, his world changed.
“I started doing that to round out my game and then I just fell in love with it,” Reed said.
And he fell hard.
He spends at least four hours honing his craft each day, some of which are under the guidance of Uhde, 39, who’s been boxing for more than two decades. Reed’s life revolves around the sport. If he’s not physically preparing for a fight, he’s studying videos of fights or focusing on positivity.
Reed, 20, has also reignited Uhde’s passion for the sport.
“Seeing his drive and how much he wanted it — he was bringing things to me that really made me think… [and] challenging me, even though the experience wasn’t there,” Uhde said.
Both fighters keep up rigorous training schedules that begin at 4 a.m., and often end with an evening sparring session at Uhde’s gym, Hard Knocks Boxing and Fitness in Evergreen.
Last weekend, both fighters’ hard work paid off: Reed and Uhde walked away with unanimous victories in their respective bouts.
“I have an incredible amount of respect for anybody that steps in the ring because it takes a huge amount of guts and mental fortitude to step in there knowing the other person’s trying to knock you out,” Reed said. “I think a lot of times, people don’t understand how strong they are, how mentally tough they are because they never put themselves in a position to succeed like that.”