By James Eley
Andy Keates is hoping a successful first defence of his Midlands Title could lead to another crack at the English strap.
The 25 year-old from Leek will defend his super lightweight strap against unbeaten prospect, Jordan Cooke, on Matchroom Boxing’s ‘Bragging Rights’ show at the Barclaycard Arena this coming Saturday, 22nd October.
“It is very important that I get the win and defend my title,” explained Keates (11-4). “I need this now to go for the English title again whether that is against Anthony Upton if he still has it or anyone that has it.
“I have to put on a performance now to show people I am good enough and ready to step up again. A win would pick me up and take me to where I want to go. But I am not looking past this fight and I am fully focused on getting back on the map and getting a win.
“I have got some good sparring in and training has been tough so I am all ready now. I can’t wait. It is another exciting one on Sky again so hopefully if I keep getting these opportunities something good will come for me. It is great to be in the big arenas and being in the mix on a Sky show. It’s exciting to be around the top boxers who are fighting on the night.”
Keates’ last two fights have been for the English strap, at light. A narrow points defeat by Kevin Hooper was followed by a difficult night against Matchroom prospect Ohara Davies. However, despite those losses, Keates is confident going into the Cook fight.
“I think most of my other fights have been close. I lost the Kevin Hooper fight by a point and the only one that was in a different league was Ohara Davies.
“He was strong and he was a good kid but the opportunity was there for me so I took it. I knew I was in a decent kid and it ended in a defeat but I think I should be going in the ring with the top and I am good enough for that.
“I think Cooke is a solid fighter. I am going to put the pressure on him and see what he is made of.
“I have heard he is a good boxer so we will take it from there round after round. We are both southpaws so I think it will be interesting. I have had a lot of sparring against southpaws so I am used to it anyway so it won’t be a problem.
“I’m confident of getting the win and pushing on for a shot at the English again.”