Jamie Cox hopes his boyhood pals will inspire him when he relaunches his career this month
Cox has invited James DeGale and Tony Bellew to be at ringside when he boxes in home-town Swindon on Saturday, June 15. In the amateur ranks, they were England team mates and for a while, Cox looked the best prospect.
He struck gold at the 2006 Commonwealth Games when DeGale had to settle for bronze, but as a professional, Cox has been left behind.
A hand injury has ruled him out since he won the Commonwealth light-middleweight title in September, 2011 and he was working in a warehouse while DeGale and Bellew were climbing the rankings towards world-title shots.
DeGale and Bellew are on the brink now – and Cox has similar ambitions after being given the all-clear to box again.
“I grew up with them,” said the 26 year-old southpaw. “I learned all my skills alongside them.
“They are at a different level now and if I can get myself together I can achieve what they have.
“We still chat sometimes. I send Tony and James text messages wishing them luck when they box and they always reply, they always have time for me.
“British boxing is on the up at the moment.
“Carl Froch had that great win over Mikkel Kessler and I’m sure James and Tony will come through to win world titles as well.
“I want to be challenging for world titles one day, but all I’m really thinking about is the British title and I know I can win it.
“Boxing is all I’ve known since I was a kid and I want to achieve something in the game.”
Cox has switched training camps to prepare for his comeback fight.
He has been commuting to Newport to work with Tony Borg having previously stayed in Birmingham.
“My girlfriend didn’t like me being away from home all week,” he said, “and I thought it would be better to commute every day.
“Tony has a different way of training and l’m learning different skills all the time.”
Cox says he’s learned from sparring British super-featherweight champion Gary Buckland and Lee Selby.
He rates the British and Commonwealth featherweight champion as “one of the best talents I’ve seen in boxing” and added: “Lee is a great athlete, so sharp and fit as a fiddle.
“He will do 15 rounds sparring, then do 20 rounds on the pads. He is definitely going to be a world champion.
“I’ve picked up some moves from him that I’ve added to my game.
“But the main thing they have is fitness. All the lads at the gym are very fit, throw loads of punches and if you can throw loads of punches for 12 rounds, you have a great chance of winning.”
Cox has been matched with Matiouze Royer at Oasis Leisure Centre.
The Frenchman has never been stopped in his 20-fight career and Cox says he’s tweaked his all-action style to prepare for the six-round clash.
“I’m older and wiser now,” he said. “I’ve learned from my mistakes. I was street fighting before. I just saw the red mist and wasn’t listening to instructions.
“I have a good boxing brain, but wasn’t using it.
“I was too busy trying to entertain the crowd. But boxing is all about hitting and not getting hit. I want to look classy. I just want to go out there and look good.”
Also on the show, Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell is matched with Czech middleweight champion Stepan Horvath, Gareth Heard and Faheem Khan clash for a belt and unbeatens Mike Rose, Lawrence Bennett and Jono Price also box. Tickets are available from 07774-665155.