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Reid Hooks Up With New Promoter

September 3, 1996

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ David Reid, whose dramatic knockout gave the United States its only Olympic boxing gold medal at Atlanta, turned pro Tuesday with a new promoter who said Reid could make up to $50 million.

Reid, 22, and his longtime coach and advisor Al Mitchell bypassed established promoters like Don King and Bob Arum to sign with Amerika Presents, owned by former TV executive Mat Tinley.

Tinley said the 156-pound light middleweight got a ``seven-figure″ signing guarantee and should make between $30 and $50 million over the next five years.

``He’s the best prospect to come out of the amateur boxing program since Sugar Ray Leonard,″ said Tinley, whose main claim to fame is as manager to undefeated WBC bantamweight champion Wayne McCullough of Northern Ireland.

``As good as David was as an amateur, we believe he’s going to be better as a professional,″ said Tinley, who will run Amerika Presents, along with Dan Goossen, formerly of Arum’s Top Rank, Inc.

Reid had talked with Arum, but made the decision to go with Amerika Presents because ``they listened,″ Mitchell said. ``All the others talked about was money, and what was best for them.″

Reid predicted he would be better than Leonard, Oscar de la Hoya and Roy Jones, three other fighters who used Olympic medals as springboards to lucrative pro careers.

``Everybody around the world wants to see the guy who knocked out the Cuban,″ he said.

Reid was trailing world amateur champion Alfredo Duvergel 16-6 in the third round when he threw a straight right that floored the Cuban and won the Olympic gold medal.

Mitchell, the U.S. boxing coach at the Atlanta Olympics, said Reid’s first pro fight would be within two months, but that an opponent had not been selected.

Before that, Reid must have surgery to correct a droopy left eyelid. Reid said doctors have assured him the surgery won’t effect his ability to fight.

Reid was an 11-year-old hanging around with a crowd that ``stole cars and sold drugs″ when he was suspended from school for fighting.

His mother, Marie Reid, said he should learn how to box and sent him to Mitchell, who ran a boxing program in Philadelphia.

Mitchell developed Reid into a boxer and, after winning the 1991 national junior championship, Reid spent four years on the U.S. national team before winning the gold medal.

Reid said that, despite the Olympic gold medal and a lucrative pro contract, he will continue to work hard toward his goal of being undisputed world champion.

``I’m not going to let the money soften me up,″ he said. ``The hunger is still there.″

Tinley said Reid would fight up to six times a year. Mitchell said he expected Reid to be ready for a title fight in 2 1/2 years, while Reid said he thought he might be ready in three to four years.

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