Reagan “The President” Dessaix (14-1, 10KO’s) just recently won the World Boxing Association (WBA) Oceania Light Heavyweight Title via being the first man to stop Peter Ato Ricketts inside the distance. Reagan took some time out of his schedule to chat about his new WBA title, career, and of course his nickname.
First thing first when it comes to the nickname so let’s get that out of the way: when asked about “The President” nickname Reagan laughs and tells how his father Clem loved President Ronald Reagan, and loved him so much that you guessed it; that is where his forename came from.
Added to the forename when Reagan was 15 years old and won his first Australian title was “The President” nickname. As Reagan recounts, his team was razzing him in the car trip home about the big win, calling him “Mr. President” which morphed into “The President” to round out his father’s adoration of the late great American President.
Nickname aside, Reagan hails from The Land Down Under – specifically Sydney – and at the ripe age of 21 is not only WBA Oceania 175lb Champion but also enjoys taking on a mentorship role, already, to the youth “I am an amateur coach and a full time personal trainer to a group of 20 amateurs ranging all the way from very young to much older than myself.” Says Reagan.
It would seem that Reagan has been a bit ahead of the curve, seeing as how despite the young age he still had a very good amateur career consisting of 80 fights where he represented Queensland multiple times and Australia in international events in Europe, as well as competing in the Youth World Championships.
Despite all the accolades there has been one blip on the radar for Reagan thus far, which is the TKO loss to Mose Auimatagi Jnr just over two years ago. It was not a brutal knockout, or “devastating loss” that you sometimes see with prospects overmatched, however, so much as part of the journey as Reagan recounts it.
“The bell sounded and one minute into the round I was getting my distance and range when suddenly an overhand right connected to the back of my head. The shot caught me cold, I stumbled and wobbled and he put the pressure on to force the referee to step in.”
Reagan offers no qualms about the referee’s decision to end the fight and has two big takeaways from it for his journey thus far. One being that he turned head in the wrong position which is how he got caught on the back of the head, and two being that he really struggled to make the super middleweight limit for the fight as it was his last fight at 168lbs for his still growing, 6’3” nineteen year old frame.
“I am only 21 years old, every fight is a step closer towards the goal and the dream. I still have lots of growing to do, you can never stop learning and never stop improving in boxing no matter how old you are.”
No doubt he has a lot of learning to go but make no mistake that that statement is no knock on him, but rather a journalist’s observation that he seems to have his head on straight and appears to be well ahead of the typical curve.
Reagan’s closing message to his family, friends, and fans is: “Holding a WBA title so young is an honor and I am very proud to have it. It makes me more motivated to keep climbing the rankings and keep training hard to hold a WBA World Title some day. This is only the beginning, there are bigger things to come, so thank you for all the support along my journey thus far.”