Exclusive Interview with John “Action” Jackson
By Ron Scarfone - At the Xtreme Boxing Club in Hialeah, Florida, 23-year-old John “Action” Jackson hones his skills as he prepares for his upcoming fight on July 11. With an impressive record of 14-1, 13 KOs in a four year pro career, Jackson is capable of becoming a contender in the near future. Jackson is currently ranked No. 106 by BoxRec.com in the lightweight division, although he intends to campaign as a super featherweight. Jackson will fight on the undercard of one of the most anticipated boxing events of the year. The event is titled “Summer Sizzler” and will take place at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida on July 11. The main event will feature IBF bantamweight champion Joseph “King Kong” Agbeko against flyweight and super flyweight world champion Vic “Raging Bull” Darchinyan. The co-main event will be a battle between elite lightweight contenders when Anges “Baby Face” Adjaho faces Antonio “Tony” DeMarco. Also on the card, former world cruiserweight champions Steve “USS” Cunningham and Wayne “Big Truck” Braithwaite fight in an IBF cruiserweight title eliminator. The event is being promoted by Don King Productions..
Article posted on 04.07.2009
Ron Scarfone: You were born in Detroit, Michigan. Did you begin your pro boxing career there or when you moved to Miami, Florida?
John Jackson: I started in Detroit, Michigan at the age of twelve. I started with a friend of mine. We went to the gym just for fun, for the summertime. It was just something to do. Six months later, I won my first state title, so I just stayed with it after the success of winning.
Ron Scarfone: So that was in the amateurs?
John Jackson: Yeah, that was in the amateurs at twelve years old.
Ron Scarfone: Were you motivated to box because of the famous Kronk Gym which was in Detroit for several decades?
John Jackson: Not really, but once I put a year into it, I realized where I was at, the famous Kronk Gym. I stayed with it. It was motivation, definitely, after a while, after a year though. It wasn’t right away.
Ron Scarfone: Did you train at the Kronk Gym?
John Jackson: Yes. I trained every day. I had a coach. He was a police officer. He took us every day. He picked us up from the east side of Detroit. The Kronk Gym is on the west side, so we drove twenty minutes every day, five days a week. I just stayed with it. Determination.
Ron Scarfone: Did Emanuel Steward train you as well?
John Jackson: His nephew did. I had close ties with Emanuel Steward. He did a lot for me. He taught me a lot of things. It was good.
Ron Scarfone: Is your nickname “Action” inspired by the movie Action Jackson about a Detroit cop played by actor Carl Weathers who also portrayed Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies?
John Jackson: No, but I like the movie. That is one of my favorite movies. It was a guy named Mr. Logan that actually gave me the name “Action.” I found out that there was another John David Jackson named “Action” too. Why not go by another name by a world champion? I got the name at the age of twelve when I first started boxing. (Note: John David Jackson was the WBO junior middleweight champion from 1988-1993 and WBA middleweight champion from 1993-1994. He is currently a boxing trainer.)
Ron Scarfone: Your record is 14-1, 13 KOs. All of your wins were by TKO or KO except for your most recent fight against Ricardo Medina in February. You won by a wide margin on all three judges’ scorecards. How do you feel about your performance in that fight?
John Jackson: I actually give myself about a C or C- because I felt I wasn’t at my best. I didn’t fight a smart fight. In the next outing, it is definitely going to be better than the last.
Ron Scarfone: Your one loss was by split decision against Armando Cordoba. Cordoba fought some good opponents including Anges Adjaho in which Cordoba lost by unanimous decision. What did you learn in that loss to Cordoba and do you feel that you deserved to win?
John Jackson: To be honest, no excuses, but I do feel that I won the fight. I learned a lot from it. I was back in the gym two weeks later. I had to get a little time to get over it. I came back stronger. I came back knocking the next six guys out, so it is determination. You can’t give up. My first fight was a loss as an amateur, so why give up now?
Ron Scarfone: You were on the undercard of the Nate Campbell vs. Ali Funeka main event at the BankAtlantic Center in February. How does it feel to be fighting again on the undercard of such a high profile fight card at the BankAtlantic Center on July 11?
John Jackson: I feel good about it. There are a lot of people coming out. It is a big fan base for the main event and I am willing to get a little bit of that spotlight.
Ron Scarfone: Is your fight going to be televised by Showtime?
John Jackson: No, it is not going to be televised, but a lot of people will see it, so that is what is important to me right now, just to get that exposure.
Ron Scarfone: Do you know who your opponent is going to be on July 11?
John Jackson: I have no idea, but I’m ready for anybody. Right handed, southpaw, it doesn’t matter. I’m training to fight either style. I sparred with Anges for the last three weeks, southpaw. I can fight both ways, so it doesn’t matter who I fight.
Ron Scarfone: You sparred with Anges Adjaho?
John Jackson: Yeah, I worked with him the last three weeks, southpaw, and it was good work, great work getting each other ready. He’s fighting Antonio DeMarco and I got him ready for that fight and he got me ready, so it worked out right.
Ron Scarfone: What division are you going to be fighting in?
John Jackson: 130 pounds, super featherweight. I can make 126, but there is no use right now if there is no title or nothing like that, so I am going to fight 130. I am only walking around at 137, so 130 is my weight.
Ron Scarfone: Your trainer is Jorge Rubio. How long have you been training with him?
John Jackson: I have been training four years with Rubio. He is getting me sharp, worked on a lot of things, learned a lot of things over the time, and that’s my trainer. He’s with me to the end. (Note: John Jackson has a training video of him punching focus mitts worn by Jorge Rubio on YouTube.com)
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