Sandygate ABC star Reece Farnhill compared to "The Cobra" Carl Froch!

Kevin Maree has likened up-and-coming boxing star Reece Farnhill to former super-middleweight supremo Carl Froch.
Sandygate ABC's Reece FarnhillSandygate ABC's Reece Farnhill
Sandygate ABC's Reece Farnhill

The eponymous head honcho of one of the sport’s busiest stables has high hopes for the unbeaten Sandygate ABC fighter.

And Maree’s comparison carries considerable weight, given his dealings with “The Cobra” as a coach, manager and event organiser.

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He had Luke Blackledge on his books when the one-time Commonwealth titlist was invited to spar with the headliner ahead of his first duel with George Groves.

Kevin Maree, of Maree Boxing, and former world champion Carl FrochKevin Maree, of Maree Boxing, and former world champion Carl Froch
Kevin Maree, of Maree Boxing, and former world champion Carl Froch

Blackledge then featured on the undercard, with 80,000 fans packed into the Manchester Arena, when lasting less than a round against Rocky Fielding at the back end of 2013.

Maree and Froch would later combine to put on a show at the Stirk House when the former WBC, WBA and IBF World champion was welcomed at a sportsman’s dinner.

“Reece reminds me of Carl Froch,” he said. “If you look back you can see that they’re very similar in style at that age. They’re both fighters that make you sit back as a boxing fan and say ‘they’re hard!’ He’s going to break hearts, just as Carl did.

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“You can hit him with everything you’ve got and he’ll just keep on coming. He just enjoys it.

“You could see it after the first round in his last fight; Reece was unfazed, in the zone, while Rob [Magill] just looked dazzled in his corner. He’s got a big future ahead of him.”

Farnhill, from Sabden, and an ex-Ribble Valley ABC student, has taken to the pro ranks like a duck to water.

The 24-year-old has taken everything in his stride with performances against Scott Williams, Ben Thomas and Magill showing the novice holds no fear.

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Under the watchful eye of coaches Andy Howcroft and Shane Armer, the four-time North West prize-winner was on top form when dismantling a fellow unbeaten prospect on his second outing at Colne Muni last month.

Maree said: “He’s 3-0 now and he’s looked very well. We knew he had quality and his last fight told us pretty much everything we thought we knew about him.

“Reece has just got it. He doesn’t have many weaknesses, he doesn’t hold any fear, so he’s going to take some beating. He’s a lovely boxer but he can also fight like hell.

“He’s got everything you want to see in a boxer. He’s dedicated and he lives the life. He’s a quiet lad, but he just lets his boxing do the talking. He’s a consummate professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.”

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He added: “I think he’s going to be a major force in the sport. Those on the outside looking in will be expecting us to push him on, but we’ve got to keep the reins on him a little bit. We still need to build a base because he’s still learning the ropes, but we expect him to go a long way. We’ll keep teaching him while helping him progress.

“He’s a machine, like the Terminator. He’s tough, he’s got an incredible engine and it’s going to take somebody very special to stop him.

“He ticks all the boxes, which makes him a very dangerous fighter. He was sparring with some top, seasoned professionals as an amateur so we knew what was coming.

“He’s got the heart and the ability to succeed and I’m very excited about his future because I’d back him to go all the way.”