On Saturday, June 27, United Boxing Promotions, in conjunction with OLG Slots Ajax Downs, is proud to present two-division Canadian champion Brandon “Bad Boy” Cook (14-0-0, 8KOs) in WBA Inter-Continental super welterweight championship action against Austrian titlist Gogi “Lionheart” Knezevic (28-5-1, 12KOs) of Vienna. Scheduled for the Ajax Community Centre, this exciting twelve-round attraction is Cook’s first fight in Ajax, Ontario – the “Bad Boy’s” hometown – since turning pro in 2011.
Although Cook has won two Canadian titles already, the idea of claiming an international championship, in his hometown of Ajax, is proving particularly exciting. “It’s a crazy feeling, knowing that I’m fighting for the WBA Inter-Continental championship,” explained Cook. “Everything we have done for the last couple years comes down to this one fight. I’m putting everything on the line. It’s a great feeling to be fighting five minutes away from my house in Ajax. The venue is a lot smaller than the Hershey Centre, but the place will be packed with all my fans, family, and friends.”
Tyler Buxton, Brandon Cook’s promoter, believes it’s time to take his fighter’s career to the next level. “He’s won two Canadian championships, against some really tough opposition,” said Buxton. “It’s time to move him up, onto the international stage. The WBA Inter-Continental title will open up new doors for Brandon. He’s earned this. It just seemed fitting to hold the fight in Ajax, so all his fans can watch him take his first big step towards a world title. Brandon wanted it, the fans wanted it. So we’re headed to Ajax!”
For Cook, like most Canadian boxers, battling his way up the rankings has meant years of sweat and sacrifice. “It’s hard for boxers in Canada to make a living by fighting alone,” said Cook. “It’s just too hard. In the United States it’s different, but here the money just isn’t there. At the moment I’m working full-time Monday to Friday, over ten hours a day, but I still find time to train six days a week. Four of those days I train twice. Having great people behind me, like my boxing coach Mike Guyett and strength and conditioning coach Andrew Williams, makes things a lot easier. On fight night, I have Carlos Varela handling my cuts. He’s one of the best in the business. It’s been a real team effort preparing for Knezevic. I’m very thankful that my promoter, Tyler Buxton, is making all this happen.”
United Boxing Promotions is also offering up a prospect-studded undercard for June 27. The always exciting Brock Arthur (2-1-1, 1KOs) of Whitby meets Samer Barakat (5-1-0, 3KOs) of Ottawa in a heavyweight six rounder, while Ryan Young (7-0-0, 6KOs), Tim Cronin (4-1-0), Josh O’Reilly (3-0-0) will all see action against opponents TBA.