Swindon slayer Jamie Cox is frothing to remind fight fans of the carnage he can cause inside a prizering, writes Glynn Evans.
After stretching all three of his 2015 victims in the opening session the 30 year old western gunslinger endured a nightmare 2016 in which he served time in prison (for charges which were subsequently dismissed on appeal), was stripped of his world ranking and restricted to a single public outing.
But the John Costello coached super-middle fully intends to contend again in 2017.
‘I’m in the game to be nasty, smash people up, hurt ‘em, knock people out,’ warns cold cocker Cox, a former senior ABA champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist in his teens, who is now unbeaten over 21 fights and almost 10 years as a professional.
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‘It has to happen for me this year. In 2015, I was really on a roll but 2016 was thoroughly frustrating both on a personal and professional level. However, if anything it motivated me even more to achieve my goal of becoming world champion.
‘I was constantly in the gym, improving under the master, John Costello, and I performed really well in sparring, helping Nathan Cleverly prepare for his successful world title challenge.
All I can do is concentrate on winning fights. All I’m interested in is my family, close friends and boxing. I’m plenty fresh. I eat no rubbish food and lead a relaxed life. I can go on until I’m 65 (laughs)!
‘My understanding is that I will soon re-enter the WBO rankings at around number five. Right now I’m just in training for someone…anyone. I’ll be back out in March or April.’
In his solitary start of 2016, the demolition man, who has destroyed 12 victims ahead of schedule, added 10 valuable rounds to his CV following a wild brawl with Argentine bull Martin Fidel Rios in which the principals had six points deducted for assorted transgressions.
‘It might as well have been a street fight!’ quips Cox who prevailed by 98 points to 96.
‘Going in, I didn’t know much about Rios and probably overlooked him a bit. I’d never fought anybody like him before. He spat at me and bit my ear so should’ve been slung out but he was very smart, an expert spoiler. I never hit him really clean but, give him credit, he took the big shots I did connect with really well.
‘To be fair, if I’d listed to John (Costello) and stuck to my boxing, I’d probably have got him out of there early but there had been very little atmosphere in the arena in the undercard fights so I was desperate to light the night up, give the fans a fight to talk about. At least I got to show my conditioning. It was easy work.’
Cobwebs shed, Cox serves notice that he will be actively hunting each and every current 12 stone champion once his world ranking is restored; and he stresses that identity and venue are immaterial, provided appropriate preparation time is given.
‘To be honest, I’m sick of everybody always asking me,’ claims Cox who, despite his violent ring manner, is one of the most laid back and courteous characters on the fight circuit.
‘If any world champion and any location is put to me, they know my answer. No names but I’ve knocked current world champions out in the gym. I know Frank has approached the champions but they’ve all flatly refused.
‘All I can do is continue to put the work in, in the gym, and pray my promoter can deliver my chance. Even a final eliminator would be fantastic. I’m more than happy to prove myself.
‘I don’t care in the slightest which world champion they get for me; pick a name out of the hat. James (DeGale, the IBF champion who attempts to unify with WBC boss Badou Jack tomorrow night) is a great kid and a tremendous talent who has my full support. He’s a proven road warrior and a better fighter than Jack but it’s a TMT show so who knows. Either way, I’ll happily oblige the winner, anywhere they choose.
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‘(Mexico’s WBO boss) Gilberto Ramirez must be a very good fighter to have beaten Arthur Abraham. He’s very long limbed and I’d put him a very close second to DeGale but I’m confident I can destroy him.
‘I know Frank tried to make the Tyron Zeuge fight (for the WBA title) but it seems the Germans opted for Paul Smith instead who’s already had a few chances and fallen short.
‘I’m on the tail of each and every one of them. I’m ready for whoever. It’s the world champions who keep turning me down. I’m in a stuck in the mud situation and it’s driving me crazy!’