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Boxing: BOXING or PORN?; THE LIVERPOOL CHAMP ON ADULT MOVIES AND WORLD TITLE FIGHTS I'm a knockout at both says Robin Reid.

Byline: KEVIN GARSIDE

ROBIN REID lives the dream. Professional boxer, part-time model, occasional porn star, the Reaper's life is anything but grim.

Boxing comes first, you understand, but as the saying goes, it would be rude to turn down work if you can get it. And there is plenty of demand for what this Lancastrian Lothario has to offer.

Such is the demand for his services in the glamourous business of erotic modelling, to give it its professional name, that Reid would almost certainly be otherwise engaged were he not squaring up to Sven Ottke this weekend.

a magazine in which he brings new meaning to the term knockout blow.

"I was asked to do it a few years ago and I thought 'Why not?'. I have a good physique, I'm not bad looking. It is just something that I am equipped to do, if you know what I mean.

"I can't do DIY. Apart from boxing I'm not much good at anything else so I thought it would be another string to my bow. I enjoy it. It is not the hardest job in the world, pardon the pun.

"That said, it is not the easiest either. You have to pose, stand here, stand there, up and down like a yo-yo for four or five hours.

"The lads have all had a go at me about it. They say, 'great job, Robin, I wouldn't mind a bit of that'. But it is all right saying that. It is another thing doing it on set with cameras all around and people watching. It is not just about personal gratification. It is a job. Boxing and glamour modelling. Not a bad combination, eh?"

A world title, the prestigious WBC version at super-middleweight, four years after claiming Olympic bronze in Barcelona.

By any standards Reid is a lucky boy. But is he happy?

Delirious outside of the ring, obviously. But not so inside the ropes. Despite an impressive CV as an amateur and a pro, and the obvious accoutrements success has delivered there is a nagging sense of a career not fulfilled that refuses to go away.

A glance across the super-middleweight division reveals a domestic rival with greater wealth and acclaim. Reid does not begrudge Joe Calzaghe one penny of his multi-million pound earnings or his status in he game. He simply feels that he is equally worthy.

The pair met in February 1999, with Calzaghe edging a close decision that many believed should have gone to Reid. That was one of only three defeats in a 40-fight career stretching back ten years.

Tomorrow, in Germany, Reid re-enters the world title scene via a side door when he challenges Ottke for his WBA and IBF super-middleweight crowns. Reid won the WBC title seven years ago on even more forbidding territory in Italy. It is a fight that offers Reid a route back to boxing's high table.

A proper title, a proper fight as Barry Hearn might say, and one that will give him huge political clout and influence in the market place should he win.

There is no doubt that Reid's ultimate target is Calzaghe. He was offered a rematch with the WBO super-middleweight champion but refused a purse that he considered derisory. Reid does not want the earth, just his due.

"Joe is a great champion. I don't particularly like the bloke but I do rate him. And give him his due he has calmed down a bit. He doesn't talk as much nonsense.

"All that stuff about fighting Roy Jones because there was no one else out there used to get on my nerves because there was always the rematch with me. I've had to live in Joe's shadow. He's good but he is not that good.

"I've done all right but not a patch on what he has done. Don't get me wrong, I'm not greedy. I'd just like a piece of the pie. I think I deserve it. Every fighter does as long as they get to that level.

"I've been doing this since I was eight. I went to the Olympics. Went to Italy and won a world title. Defended it three times. I lost it in a crappy fight against Sugar Boy Malinga, fair enough. But overall I don't think I have been given the same crack of the whip as Joe and I've had to come back the hard way."

It does not get any harder than Ottke on the German's own turf. That said, there is a feeling that Ottke is ready to go. The upright champion is not made for Reid, who likes the foe to come to him, but it is a risk Reid is happy to take.

After sharing the same ring as such limited luminaries as Dmitri Adamovich, Willard Lewis, Enrique Campos and Mondi Mbonambi in his previous four fights, a world title bout with Ottke has all the appeal he needs.

"This is my long-term thinking," said Reid. "Go over to Germany. Up against it, yes, but I don't care about that. I've been here before. It's about ring awareness. I've just got to manage the fight properly. Be busy, be clever, and win the fight. Then when I come back, with that belt, and I shall, I'm right back in the thick of it. But this time I'll be in control."

Though proud of his modelling work and photo shoots in adult magazines, recognition in the ring is all that matters now. At 32, he feels he has a couple of profitable years left in which to make his mark. There is no time to waste.

In deference to his impressive physical attributes, Reid's shorts will carry the words "one day all fighters will look this way" on one side and on the other, "you are watching history in the making", a reference to the route he has taken to reclaim a world crown.

"Not many win in Italy and Germany. That has got to put me up there. For years I've been hearing about the greatest British and Irish super-middleweights, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Steve Collins, Calzaghe, all deserving of the acclaim, sure, but my name is never mentioned.

"This is my chance to change all that, the time to make people sit up and take notice. Then we'll see about Calzaghe."

Porn again, you might say.

CAPTION(S):

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT: Robin Reid sticks to his day job tomorrow when he takes on Sven Ottke for his two world titles; GLAMOUR SHOT: Robin Reid poses with a Page Three girl before a big fight
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 12, 2003
Words:1103
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