Prizefighter semi-finalist Cook gets British title shot


13/01/2010

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PRIZEFIGHTER semi-finalist Jason Cook has been handed a chance to win the British Light-Welterweight Championship.


Jason Cook (right) in Prizefighter action against Michael Grant

Cook, who reached the final four of the Prizefighter Light-Welterweights in December, will meet current title holder Lenny Daws at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, east London on Friday, February 12.

"I'm very happy, ecstatic, but I didn't think I would get the opportunity after Prizefighter when I lost to Gavin Rees," said Cook.

"I thought I gave a good account of myself at Prizefighter but thought Colin Lynes or David Barnes would've had a shot.

"Being in Prizefighter has given me a great opportunity to get back into the mix and that's the reason why I took Prizefighter on.

"After four years out I'd had a good win against Scott Jordan but then I got offered Prizefighter and there was no way I could turn it down.

"I had nine weeks notice, got in great shape and felt great.

"Prizefighter has given me a great opportunity, but it's not just me – look at what's happened to some of the winners like Martin Rogan, Sam Sexton and Audley Harrison.

"Prizefighter has been the best thing to happen to boxing for the last six years and it was an amazing idea from Barry Hearn.

"What makes it so special is the calibre of boxers you get all on one night. At one point every one of the light-welterweights was a champion and you don't get that mixture at any other show. To get eight champions, World, European and British, was amazing. You can just let it all out and you can't pace yourself as you just have to go for it.

"On the night of Prizefighter I thought I had been awful but after watching it back I was pleased with how I'd performed."

Cook, 34, is a former European Lightweight Champion with 26 wins, 13 by knockout, from his 29 professional contests.

He is expecting a tough fight with Daws, who will be making his first defence of the title since claiming victory over Barry Morrison in September to win the belt.

"Lenny is a tough fighter and he has a tremendous work rate," added Cook. I've seen a video of him and he's a tough fighter so I'll have to work hard but over 12 rounds that will suit my style more than Prizefighter did.

"People say about my age but that's just a number but I'm now training and doing things I wasn't doing eight years ago.

"If I win the British title then the sky's the limit as the Light-Welterweight division is red hot at the moment at domestic, European and worldwide.

"The training has been brilliant, even with all the snow. I've been doing work like Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren's character in Rocky 4) with a five or six mile run on an incline machine and then a 10,000 metre row on the rowing machine.

"Against Lenny I have to be at the top of my game and fitter than I've ever been. I will have to be more controlled, not just looking for the big shots.

"People know I can punch and he will be weary of that but people don't realise how much boxing ability I've got as well as my punching power.

"I promise I'll be in the best shape of my life and I want to bring the title back to Wales."


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