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Morecambe's Reece MacMillan in best shape yet ahead of Bolton test

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Reece MacMillan’s trainer believes the Morecambe prospect is in the best shape of his career after adding a new member to his team.

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The former Skerton ABC amateur has been working with a nutritionist for the first time as he builds up to his clash with durable veteran Ibrar Riyaz at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday night.

Sam McHaffie has been helping the 22-year-old with his diet and John Donaghy is confident his man will feel the benefits on fight night after a smooth camp.

“I think it’s the best prepared we’ve ever been to be honest,” said the Preston-based cornerman.

“We’ve got a nutritionist on board. He works with Everton Ladies and does other things as well.

“Reece was struggling with knowing what to eat and what not to eat and he’s been following a new diet.

Morecambe boxing prospect Reece MacMillan. Picture: Rachel Landsborough

Morecambe boxing prospect Reece MacMillan. Picture: Rachel Landsborough

“He’s been on track with his weight the whole way through camp and he feels strong.

“You can get away with some things for five or six fights but when you’re stepping up in levels you’ve got to get these practices in order because in another two or three fights he’s going to be knocking on the door for titles.

“It’s about getting it right now, rather than at the last minute when you’ve got a 10-round fight coming up.”

Riyaz knows his way around the ring having put some of the country’s top prospects through their paces during his 156-fight career.

The 33-year-old has only been stopped three times meaning MacMillan, 6-1, will likely bag some valuable rounds against an experienced opponent.

Donaghy wants to see a more mature performance from the light welterweight in his first six-round contest, the Morecambe fighter known to get involved in crowd-pleasing contests when he perhaps could take a safer route to victory.

“I want more control from him,” Donaghy said.

“Everything seems to go right in the gym and then when he gets in there he seems to get embroiled in a fight.

“That’s the main thing for him because you waste a lot of energy doing that.

“You can get away with it at this level but when you step up a level you want to be boxing clever.

“I just want to see progress from him really.

“Ibrar Riyaz is a tough as old boots.

“Not many people stop him, we’ll be aiming for that but it’s a six-rounder which will suit Reece.

“He’s got a really good engine and it’s a good fight for him at this stage. I want a nice tidy performance.”

Saturday’s card is being put together by MacMillan’s manager Kieran Farrell and includes two Central Area title fights. George Brennan and Zahid Hussain meet at featherweight while the bantamweight contest pits Lee Clayton against Craig Derbyshire.