Bascome coming on just nicely – Rego
Allan “Forty” Rego insists it is crucial Nikki Bascome is brought along at the right pace after his hard-fought victory over David Rangel.
Despite being two years younger than Bascome at 24, the tough Mexican had greater experience with 11 more bouts than the Bermudian who extended his unbeaten record to seven fights at North Field on Saturday.
Trainer Rego believes Rangel's own career trajectory offers a cautionary tale for Bascome's matchmakers not to push the fighter too fast, too soon.
Rangel stormed to ten successive victories before challenging Nicaraguan Junior Ramirez for the WBC junior world championship title in 2015, losing via a unanimous points decision and has since lost six out of his past eight fights.
“That guy had 17 fights whereas Nikki had six [before the fight],” Rego said. “Can you imagine Nikki after 17 fights?
“I think they can match Nikki a bit closer, but they say nobody wants to come [to Bermuda].”
Bascome's gritty win was all the more impressive considering he had been battling with the flu after picking up the bug on the flight home from Orlando, Florida, three days before the fight.
Rego admits Bascome's health was a concern but said the pair never contemplated pulling out of the six-round welterweight contest.
“Nikki Bascome got the flu coming home on the plane from Miami [after a two-week training camp],” said Rego, who expects Bascome to return to the ring in July.
“We had to work hard from Wednesday until the fight to get him ready.
“I didn't want anyone to know because I didn't want them to say, ‘He's backing out, he's chickening out'.”
Rego, who wants Bascome to have two more fights before stepping up to the eight-round level, felt his fighter showed the heart and courage to match his silky skills against Rangel.
“He was fighting a Mexican and they can't fight going backwards,” Rego said. “You have to back up him and push him back because I know Mexicans don't like that.
“That guy was a good fighter and it was one of the best fights Nikki has had. It was blow for blow for a while, but the shots [Rangel] was throwing were being closed down by Nikki.
“He rocked Nikki once but he came right back and shot him down. Nikki caught him with some nice shots, too.”
Rego was also impressed with Andre Lambe, his top amateur, who continued his rapid development with a unanimous points victory over Corey Moore, of USA Baltimore Boxing.
Lambe outclassed a far more experienced opponent and Rego believes the 20-year-old is benefiting from his hard sparring with Bascome and the fighters he faces during their training camps in Orlando.
“I took Andre down [to Orlando] and put him in with top fighters,” Rego said.
“I put him in with one guy who'd had 80 fights [Armani Almestica]. At one point Andre came back to the corner and I said, ‘I don't want to hear it, get back out there.' He did it and it paid off. That guy didn't want to fight Andre once he'd got hit with a right hook.
“He didn't know what to do with him and that was a guy who'd had more than 20 fights!”