Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Top Rank's Trampler on Hart and Reed

Bruce Trampler, a vice president and matchmaker at Top Rank, Inc., has assisted in the development of numerous prospects since joining the company in 1981. Helping to shape the careers of Johnny Tapia, Michael Carbajal, Oscar de la Hoya, Erik Morales, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Kelly Pavlik and countless others, Trampler is a major reason why Top Rank has the deserved reputation as being the best at developing and moving young talent. Elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010, Trampler continues to help guide Top Rank's stable of fighters.

On Friday, two of the company's prospects, super middleweight Jesse Hart (19-0, 16 KOs) and junior welterweight Mike Reed (17-0, 10 KOs), will be fighting at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. Trampler, who will be in attendance at the fight card, will be evaluating their progress. 

I reached out to Trampler last week for his thoughts on Hart and Reed and what the company projects for the two over the next 12 months. Trampler responded to my questions via an email exchange. After the interview was conducted, a new opponent was announced for Reed, who will now be fighting Samuel Amoako (21-8, 15 KOs).

Jesse Hart appeared in high-profile fights against Aaron Pryor Jr. and Mike Jimenez in 2015. How did you and/or Top Rank assess his performances in those fights?

Along with Julian Rodriguez and Toka Kahn-Clary, Jesse Hart and Mike Reed are two of our more solid Northeast prospects. Each is an undefeated ticket seller from an important market (Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., respectively). [Fellow Top Rank matchmaker] Brad Goodman and I view each of their fights coming up as learning experiences. Experience is something you can't teach, but it manifests itself in future bouts. 

Hart next faces Dashon Johnson (19-18-3, 6 KOs), a vet who goes rounds and is on a winning streak. What specifically are you looking for from Hart in this fight?

Nothing specifically. Johnson is a solid veteran from whom Jesse figures to learn a good deal. We're trying to get an overall sense of where Hart is in his career, because he could be in line for a title fight before too long. Developing a fighter is a marathon, not a sprint. No one particular fight really defines where a prospect is, but we'll find out more against a very capable professional in Johnson. 

What is one thing that you'd like to see Hart do more of in the ring?

Nothing in particular. We're just trying to get an overall feeling in assessing progress or development. He’s a good fighter who is going to get better. 

At age 26 and at 19-0, Jesse Hart conceivably should be entering his prime. In a perfect world, where would Top Rank like to see him by the end of the year?

There are no "shoulds" in our world. By the end of the year, it's conceivable that Hart could be ready to challenge for, and win, a world title. 

How would you compare and contrast Hart to another Top Rank super middleweight, Gilberto Ramirez?

Ramirez at this point is a tad more developed than Hart, a little further along. But don't be surprised if their careers intersect around this time next year. 

Top Rank signed Mike Reed in 2014. What would be a quick scouting report on him?

He's an athletic southpaw. He’s a very good kid from a solid family. Reed was an excellent amateur and seems to be coming along as a pro. 

How has Reed progressed as a fighter over the last 18 months?

He's ready to step up. He's been taking small steps and finding his way in the pro ranks. He always goes on the road since we don't do shows in D.C. We're happy with his development. He was a very good amateur and he's becoming a good pro. 

How would you rate Reed's power?

He can get your attention. He's technically sound. Reed knows how to hit and hit hard. He's building a strong resume. 

If things break right for Reed this year, how far is he away from becoming a contender in the junior welterweight division?

He's probably a year away. Sometimes a guy shortens his path to stardom, as Terence Crawford did when he accepted a late-notice opportunity against Breidis Prescott. Good fighters make their own breaks and Reed has that capability. We'll see how he does when his first big chance presents itself. 

Adam Abramowitz is the head writer and founder of
He is also a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board.
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