They might not be facing each other as opponents, but when the opening bell sounds Saturday night at the Admiral Coontz Recreation Center, 45 year-old Andy Reeves and his 13 year-old son Donnie will have accomplished something that the two have long wanted – to box on the same fight card.
“I want to be able to fight one time on the same scorecard as my boy,” Andy Reeves said. “It is something I have been wanting to do for the last three-four years, so I want it to happen. Whether I win, lose, or whatever, I want that one time on the same card where we can frame it and hang it at the house.”
The elder Reeves sports a 4-2 record in six fights and will be fighting in the 160 pound weight class. The last time the elder Reeves fought was in 2010 when he had three fights, however, Andy Reeves has been training non-stop for his upcoming bout since December.
“Back in 2010 I had three fights but ended up tearing my rotator cuff,” Andy Reeves said. “I just started training hard again back in December.”
From watching his father box, Donnie got the itch.
“It is something that I dabbled a little bit with when I was back in my 30’s,” Andy Reeves said.
“I caught on to it and wanted to do it because I thought it was interesting because he was doing it,” Donnie said.
The younger Reeves, a seventh grade student at Hannibal Middle School, has been boxing for the past five years. Being just a middle school student, Donnie said his passion for boxing has piqued the interest of his fellow students – and not always for the best.
“They try to test you,” Donnie said. “Most of them think they are going to come down and try it, but they usually don’t. Most of them think it is cool and they think that I am tough and they want to test me.”
However, the elder Reeves made it clear that his son is not allowed to fight at school.
“Ever since we started this, he knows this is NOT to be used for fighting,” Andy said. “I do not allow him to fight at school.”
Andy said his son has been involved in anywhere from 12 to 16 boxing matches at this point with only 4 or 5 losses. Donnie’s fights have brought him to Kansas City, Iowa, Illinois, and St. Louis to fight. But his home ring is the recreation center and Donnie has never lost a fight at his home ring.
Saturday’s fight will be Donnie’s fourth fight at the recreation center.
But, before either Andy or Donnie can get in the ring, they have to spend the time training and preparing for their respective fights.
“It is hard,” Donnie said. “Most people would be like, oh I can do that on a daily basis, but it is hard.”
But as age has caught up with the elder Reeves, he has continued to box because of the bond he shares with his son.
“The only reason I mostly do it now is because of the time I spend with him,” Andy Reeves said. “It is to have something to do with my boy.”
Andy has enjoyed watching his son develop.
“Watching him over the last five years,” Andy said, “how he has matured and grown and really enjoying the sport and all the talent he has got, he has become a pretty slick boxer.”
When the Reeves family gets into the ring during their bouts Saturday night, they will have a large crowd cheering for them.
“We are going to have a lot of family,” the elder Reeves said. “Probably 20 in all with family, friends and people from work. I don’t know exactly how many, but there is going to be a lot.”