Exclusive Interview With Hot Prospect Jamie Cox
30.04.09 - by James Slater - 22-year-old southpaw welterweight Jamie Cox of Swindon, UK, has been called one of the best and most exciting prospects in British boxing today. A fine amateur who won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth games, Jamie is now 11-0(7) as a pro. Winning his share of fans over due to his incredible work-rate and his all-action style, Cox is closing in on the British title. Last time out, on April 24th, Jamie suffered a cut eye in his winning fight with Mark Lloyd. The fight got a little bad tempered at times, and the winner was warned on a number of occasions by the referee..
Article posted on 30.04.2009
Speaking to me over the phone earlier today, Jamie made it clear this is not the way he fights as a rule. Very kindly giving me a good deal of his time, Jamie also spoke about his career so far, his goals, and how he first got into boxing.
Here are the 22-year-old's answers to my questions.
James Slater: It's great to speak with you, Jamie. Firstly, I saw your last fight, against Mark Lloyd - which you won by TKO in the 8th round. He gave you some problems. Was that your toughest pro fight yet?
Jamie Cox: Yeah, it was - physically anyway. I got cut very early in the fight when we clashed heads and that kind of threw me off my game-plan. I'd got cut in sparring three weeks before the fight, and the plan was to avoid getting cut in the fight. But he was being dirty with his head, as you can see if you watch the tape. He was rubbing his head into mine and that took my mind off the game-plan a little. I kind of lost my head. But he was fit, and it was a physical fight.
J.S: You've been complemented on your all-action style. Is that the way you always want to fight, is that you mindset going in? You really do fight at a hundred miles an hour!
J.C: Yeah it is. That's not how I fight usually (as he did in the Lloyd fight). I'm not a dirty fighter. I apologised on T.V after that win. It got a little rough, but the ref never once cautioned him - not once. He only cautioned me. But, yeah, I definitely want to give the fans their money's worth by giving them good fights. The fans have to pay a lot of money to come, and they have to graft (work) hard to get their money. I know what it's like to graft, I used to work on a building site. The fans deserve to get good action and I like to give them it.
J.S: You have been called one of the U.K's best prospects. Does that put added pressure on you, when people expect so much?
J.C: No, not really. I just go into the ring and do what I do in the gym. It's just me and him. Both the positive hype and the negativity, I take with a pinch of salt. Obviously, it's good, because it creates interest and that creates money - but in the ring it's just me and my opponent.
J.S: You got cut last time out, of course, but when do you think you will fight again?
J.C: Hopefully in July. That will be about ten to twelve weeks away, so the cut will have time to heal. I got the cut three weeks before the [Lloyd] fight and I thought it had healed well enough, but obviously not.
J.S: Is there any word yet on the opponent?
J.C: No, not yet. I just leave all that to Frank Warren. But I might be fighting in Swindon again, which is my home town.
J.S: You had a good, busy year last year, with five fights. Do you plan to have that many this year?
J.C: Yeah, I like to keep busy. You've got to get paid, too. I look after my sister, my brother and my mother, so things are a little different for me.
J.S: And will the next fight be on T.V as the last one was?
J.C: I hope so. I'd like to get on T.V more and get more coverage.
J.S: In your mind and you trainer's mind, are you close to going for a title, or is it too soon?
J.C: I'd say I'm close to a title. Kostya Tszyu won the world title after just fourteen pro fights. I'm not calling anyone out at world level, but I think I'm ready for the British title. I know I have to be able to run before I can walk. There's no point in rushing in this sport.
J.S: Kell Brook is the British welterweight champ, as you know. Would a fight with him be a possibility?
J.C: I rate Kell Brook, as the best of the British welterweights. I can't wait to fight him. You know, he says he's the Special K, and I say I'm the Honey Monster! I think I'd have too many angles for him and I think I hit as hard if not harder than he does. I tell Frank Warren all the time to make that fight. I don't ever want to duck anyone. I want to go the original route - that is to win the British, then the European and then the world title. I want to be remembered as a throwback fighter, which is what I am.
J.S: Do you make welterweight easily enough? I know you have fought as high as middleweight in the past.
J.C: I make welterweight quite easily. Last time, I was 148 pounds [in the ring]. So that shows you I can do it quite easily. I walk around at just under twelve stone (168 pounds) and with twelve weeks training I can get down comfortably. I definitely plan on fighting at welterweight for the time being, until it does become a struggle.
J.S: Just going back a number of years, how did you first get into boxing?
J.C: I was a hyperactive kid and I tried all sports, football and Tai Kwon Do. Then my dad took me to the boxing gym - my mother didn't want me to go at first. I was nine years old and I eventually had 98 amateur fights, losing 14.
J.S: You had a decorated amateur career, winning, amongst other things, Commonwealth gold. But does the pro game suit you even better?
J.C: Yes. In amateur boxing I was hitting the head and body, but my style suits the pro game more. But it's good to box as an amateur, because you get to go all over the world. It's good. They're two different sports, really.
J.S: And who were/are your boxing heroes?
J.C: I have always liked Erik Morales. He never ducked anyone, he did it the hard way, and he's a real idol of mine. I also really like Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe. Those guys are throwbacks.
J.S: So far, what pro showing was your best do you feel?
J.C: It was when I fought the American guy at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, I can't remember his name ( checking Jamie's stats, it was Steve Conkin I believe - who was KO'd in 3 rounds). I used a lot of angles and worked the body well. I stuck to my game-plan very well.
J.S: It's been a pleasure speaking with you, Jamie. Finally, where do you see yourself in say twelve months time?
J.C: In twelve months I will have won the British title. Then, like I say, I want to go that route - British, European and then world. I don't think I'll be at European level in a year, because I'm a patient man. There's no need to rush.
(Thanks, Jamie, for the interview. Sorry the phone cut off before we had a chance to say bye!)
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