Last weekend I succeeded in increasing my professional record to 5 wins and 0 defeats at Hull Ice Arena on a Sky Sports Matchroom show.
I was very nervous going into this fight as I had had a 7 month break from competing. I was nervous and I was excited to step back in the ring against high ranked Gary Cooper from Wales. Cooper was coming off a 1st round stoppage against Ricky Hattons hot prospect Sonny Upton so was in high spirits coming into the fight. It's not every day Matchroom come to Hull to put on a big show, so when it happens it's a huge event. There have been three big shows since Luke Campbell won the Olympic gold medal in 2012 and now the success of local Tommy Coyle has dramatically increased ticket sales, bringing in lots of interest to our city of Hull. This is the first time I have secured a place on one of these shows so I knew I needed to perform to the best of my ability against a tough durable opponent.
I made all the right moves in the preparation to this fight. My fight weight is usually 11 Stone but as there was a change of opponent 2 weeks previous to the show I had to match Gary Coopers 11stone 2pounds. The weigh in was a day before the fight, a taster event for fans to come and see the fighters meet for the first time! About 150 people turned up to the weigh in and the atmosphere was electric, I wanted nothing more then to step through those ropes and show them all what I am made of.
Here's my round by round review of my fight.
ROUND 1. The first round i thought I'd see what this guy had to give. Controlling distance with my jab not getting too involved. He landed one shot that I felt on the side of my head and I knew I wouldn't be able to get hit by many of them, although I didn't want to show this so I kept my composure and controlled the remainder of the round.
ROUND 2. At this point in a fight I'm usually nerve free focusing on the job, the nerves were still there and I felt rusty because of my long lay off from competition. In my opinion the second round was close and I feel Cooper may have just got the better of me. However I stayed relaxed and put that round behind me, telling myself it's now or never. It was time to show the fans and myself what I'm made of.
ROUND 3. In the third round I found my rhythm, remembered why I was here and all the hard work and sacrifice i've made to get myself into that ring. My opponent stepped on to try and take over in the fight, I used quick feet and skilful moves to keep him at bay before spinning him for a beautiful left hook that seemed to rock him for a moment. Being the tough fighter he is he came back with a few shots that I managed to evade, picking up another round as I pressed forward.
ROUND 4. In this round I noticed cooper tired. I'm known for starting slow and staying relaxed then picking my speed up towards the end as I have fantastic conditioning. So seeing that I could get the upper hand here I stepped up through the gears and started to really find my punches and combinations, allowing me to dominate round 4.
ROUNDS 5 & 6. In the last two rounds, I felt like I was born to be in that ring in front of all the fans. I fed off the crowd and kept pushing on and started to enjoy myself. Cooper was still strong and still tough but my boxing skills, footwork and combination punching saw me sail through to a points victory scored by the referee.
This was probably the best performance of my professional career. I put all this down to my preparation in the gym, the ring, on the roads and in the kitchen! Like I have said before, boxing is a lifestyle! Sacrifices need to bemade in order for success to take its place. I have huge respect for my opponent Cooper. He was very tough and punched very hard, and I wish him all the best in his future!
I am hoping for one more fight before this year comes to a close, so keep your eyes out as I am hoping to showcase some more skills in that ring!