By John Hannen: Wales’ Jason ‘The Power’ Cook is looking to secure victory over Sunderland’s undefeated Glenn Foot at the Rainton Meadows Arena on April 19 and then storm back into British title contention.
The former European lightweight champion, who has twice come up short in British light-welterweight title fights, hasn’t fought since October 2011 but insists he is in great shape and is convinced he will have too much for Prizefighter winner Foot.
“I feel great,” stated the amiable Cook. “I never retired I just took time out to get some personal issues out of the way. There was no thought of retirement and I’ve constantly kept myself fit. I thought I was very unlucky in my British title fights against Lenny Daws and [Ashley] Theophane and I still think I’ve got a lot to offer, whether it’s at light-welter or welterweight.
“I respect every fighter. I watched Glenn in Prizefighter [19 January 2013] and it was a good tournament with some good boys, but that’s all I’ve really seen of him and you can’t really go much off the three round format. He boxed some undefeated lads in there but they were also inexperienced lads. Glenn’s only had 10 fights and personally I’m very confident of winning. The experience I’m bringing should play a part.”
Cook is a huge step up for former ABA finalist Foot. Far more experienced, Jason has lost just four of 34 contests and has a real dig, evidenced by his 15 inside-the-distance victories.
Foot, though, is a real prospect who will want the Welshman’s scalp to prove he has what it takes to reach the top. Known for his all-out aggression, Glenn has knocked out five of his ten opponents and will be desperate to put on an impressive performance in front of the home support and the Loaded TV cameras.
With neither men back-foot fighters, the showdown has all the hallmarks of an explosive classic, while it lasts. Scheduled as an eight-rounder, Jason is predicting a war – with him coming out on top and the local fans heading home disappointed.
“I don’t think there’ll be a backward step from either of us,” said Cook. “I know Glenn will respect me, he’d be a fool not to in a sense, and I respect him, but once you get in that ring it’s business and we’ve got to hit each other for 24 minutes. I don’t want to do him any harm or damage him but I want to get the win, whichever way it comes. Whether it’s early, late, or goes the distance, I want to make sure I get my hand raised.
“I’m very confident. This is the most focused I’ve probably been since the Lenny Daws fight three years ago. That fight came a bit too soon for me because I hadn’t boxed 12 rounds for six years but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. This is another big opportunity. Even though he’s a ten bout fighter, he’s unbeaten, we’ve both got a lot to offer and we’ve both got a lot to prove.
“Personally I can’t see it going the distance. He’s fighting in front of his home crowd and he’s going to want it so bad. I’ve fought plenty of people in their backyards and that spurs me on even more.”
Pro Box North East, in association with Maloney Promotions and Loaded TV (Sky Channel 200), present Jon-Lewis Dickinson making the second defence of his British cruiserweight title against Merseyside’s Mike Stafford at the Rainton Meadows Arena on April 19.
The undercard for the show will feature talent from across the North East including Sunderland’s Glenn Foot, Danny Hughes and Kirk Goodings; Hartlepool’s Peter Cope; Middlesbrough’s Paul Truscott and Shafiq ‘Chubzy’ Asif; Fishburn’s Gary Fox; South Shields’Anthony Nelson; County Durham’s Tommy Ward, and Newcastle debutant Chris Bennett.