Ultimate Boxxer contender Jimmy Cooper aims to emulate his uncle and become a British Champion through winning the exciting new tournament set to revolutionise British boxing.
The towering featherweight from Southampton competes in the premier of Ultimate Boxxer I on Friday 27th April at the Manchester Arena and wants to continue the family boxing success.
His uncle Gary reigned as British Light-Middleweight in 1988 in a tough and hard era with very few title opportunities. He only earned his first title shot seven years and 17 fights after turning professional when he challenged for and won the Southern Area belt – then still considered a major domestic title.
Three years later, Gary got his British shot and defeated Michael Harris on points at Wembley’s Grand Hall to win the vacant crown, but he cruelly lost it in his first defence against 80s golden boy Gary Stretch.
His next and final fight was probably his biggest win against future British champion and World title challenger Ensley “Bingo” Bingham who he defeated on points before hanging up his gloves.
Considered one of the most under-rated British Champions, Gary would have been more than a match for most of today’s British 154lb division fighters.
Jimmy, 25, now looks to carry the Cooper name into the new era and be crowned the first ever Ultimate Boxxer.
Standing at 6ft, Jimmy has a massive reach, but also carries heavy hands with it. A top amateur with 83 bouts, he defeated some big names like Mitchell Smith (2015 Boxing Writers’ Best Young Boxer), current Commonwealth Featherweight Champion Reece Bellotti and represented England.
“I’m extremely proud of my uncles achievements, to challenge for a British title, let alone win one was a massive feat in that era,” Said Jimmy.
“They were very hard and tough men in that time and my uncle had to duck and dive until he worked his way to get his opportunities and breaks,”
“I think now there are more opportunities in boxing and you can win titles a lot earlier, but it’s still a very tough world unless you’re with a top promoter who can give you the breaks and guide you”
“So in that respect it’s still like my uncle’s era, but that’s why Ultimate Boxxer is a fantastic concept because it gives a fighter like me a golden shot,”
Ultimate Boxxer I matches eight undefeated welterweight fighters to go toe-to-toe in an exhilarating elimination tournament – backed by ambassadors Ricky Hatton, Anthony Crolla and Paulie Malignaggi – to win a cash prize from a pool of £50,000 – and the chance to become boxing’s newest star.
The event offers fans more that just boxing with live entertainment acts and celebrities at ringside to give a transformed boxing experience for the next generation.
“I’m young, hungry and determined to win Ultimate Boxxer, I don’t care who I’m matched against and I’m sure that a lot of them won’t want to get me in the draw,”
“I believe I have the ability to go all the way to the top and this is just the sort of exposure I was looking for in my career,”
“My plans for this year were to step up to six rounds and target the Southern Area title, but now this fantastic opportunity knocked on my door and I’m going to smash it down,”
“I’m stepping up a couple of weights, but I believe in myself and the three-round distance suits me down to the ground. I’m fast and explosive and I’m going to enjoy the experience.”
Pro-record: 6-0-1 (1 KO)
Amateur pedigree: Started boxing at 11 and went on to have 83 bouts and represented England. Defeated Mitchell Smith and Reece Bellotti.
Trainer: Steve Tyrell
Cutman: Glenn Bradley
Strengths: Height, reach and heavy hands. Is a skilled combination puncher with a wealth of three-round experience from the amateurs
Weaknesses: Is just settling into the weight having started his pro career at super featherweight, but more weight could mean more power.
Punch power: Has a whirlwind 27-second win on his record, but every other fight has gone the distance. Throws lots of quality punches.
Speed: Throws fast rat-a-tat combinations
Stamina: Has yet to go beyond four rounds in pro career, so untested.
Anything else: Jimmy’s uncle, Gary Cooper, was British light-middleweight champion in the 1980s. Jimmy had a spell training with Tony Sims and sparred the likes of Ricky Burns.
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW
Walk on music: “Usually ‘Sweet Caroline’ by Neil Diamond
Football team: Manchester United
Personal & Family life: “I’m from a Travelling background, so I have lots of relatives. I have two sisters and loads and loads of cousins.”
Music: “Blossoms and The Courteeners and Manchester bands.”
Fashion: “I’m a tracksuit man!”
Toughest moment: “Once when I was an amateur, the scales were wrong and I ended up having to lose 3kgs before a fight. I didn’t have anything left after the first round.”
Best moment: “Boxing for England as an amateur.”
Aspirations: “I want the Southern Area, then English title – and then work my way up.”
Nutrition: “I have a nutritionist and sports scientist who put wires on me and tell me how much water and protein I need.”
What got you into boxing? “I played in a football team that won the league three or four years on the trot and then they split up. My dad and uncle were boxers and I ended up going to the gym to box.”
Who was your favourite fighter? “Sugar Ray Leonard and now it’s Jorge Linares.”
Amateur record and achievements? “I had a 72-11 record, won the NABCs twice, Haringey Box Cup and boxed for England and had a spell up in Sheffield with the Great Britain squad.”
Who’s the best boxer you have sparred? Former Three-Weight World Champion Ricky Burns
What are your best assets as a fighter? “My hand speed, work rate and feet.”
What do you know about other fighters in the comp? “I don’t need to study them, I will work them out on the night.”
Goals in boxing? – “The pinnacle is the world title and every boxer aims for that.”
Who would you like to fight after UB? “I want 50-50 fights that will push me on. I feel I’ve served my apprenticeship.”
Nickname? “Super Cooper or Golden Boy.”
Favourite TV show? Ibiza Weekender
Favourite meal when not in camp? Roosters’ piri piri
Hobbies? Football, running, golf
Punching machine Drew Brown aims to stick the boot in and put Northampton on the world stage again by winning boxing’s exciting new tournament Ultimate Boxxer.
The undefeated 21-year-old enters the debut Ultimate Boxxer event on Friday 27th April at the Manchester Arena and believes he can win the tough one-night elimination contest and be crowned the first ever winner.
Usually boxers are born out of tough inner-cities, where hardship and few opportunities in life force them to fight their way out of poverty in a rags-to-riches story of world title glory.
However, Brown hails from the quiet market town of Northampton in the heart of England, often described as the Rose of the Shires, more known for its beautiful countryside, thatched cottages and parish churches.
Northampton was once the centre of the world’s boot and shoe making industry which gave rise to the nickname The Cobblers of the local football team. And Nearby Silverstone hosts the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at the iconic race track.
There’s never been a British boxing champion from Northampton and Brown intends to change that. The last Northampton fighter to challenge for the British title was hard-as-nails Alan Bosworth way back in 2002, Like Bosworth, Brown is a product of Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club.
The diversity of contenders in Ultimate Boxxer gives all fighters who have not had the golden opportunities in their careers to really punch their way to glory and become boxing’s next big star – and Brown aims to be that man.
Brown, who has won all seven pro fights with exciting all-action style, said: “I can’t wait for Friday 27th April in Manchester and show everyone that I’m the Ultimate Boxxer,”
“I’m a fighter from a small town, maybe some people or my rivals in Ultimate Boxxer have never heard of Northampton, but they will do after this tournament,”
“I might not come out of an inner city, but I’ve still got the heart and desire for a fight, I’d warn them don’t mistake where I come from as weakness, underestimate me at your peril,”
“Ultimate Boxxer has given me an opportunity, regardless of my background, to be discovered, it’s a platform to showcase my talent to the world. When opportunities like this present themselves you have to grab it and that’s what I intend to do,”
“People in Northampton will remember me forever if I win it. That would put me in the history books,”
“I’ve been going to the boxing gym since I was 10 years old and I’ve been going there every day since with the aim of becoming a champion one day, the dream is the British title.”
The Danny Garcia fan won 32 of 42 amateur bouts and still trains at the gym where he started with ex-pro John Daly.
His gym mates include women’s world champion Chantelle Cameron, super-flyweight contender Nathan Reeve and Carl Fail, who last month won silver at the European Under-22 Championship.
“The vibe at the gym is amazing,” said Brown. “Everywhere I look I see champions and we all push each other.
“Chantelle is a machine. She is a real inspiration.”
“As soon as I heard about ‘Ultimate Boxxer,’ I thought; ‘This is right up my street.’
“The other fighters are six, eight and 10-round fighters. They want to jab and jab and walk you down, while I like to get stuck it and throw lots of punches.
“I’m confident I will be able to outwork them all and win this.”
Amateur pedigree: 42 bouts for Far Cotton Amateur Boxing Club in Northampton
Trainer: John Daly/Spencer McCracken
Cutman: Jon Pegg
Strengths: Loves to fight. Starts fast and throws lots of combinations. He will be big for the weight. Brown has been campaigning at super-welterweight
Weaknesses: His tendency to get into a fighter means he sometimes forgets to jab
Punch power: No KOs yet in his pro career, but scored a knockdown in his last fight and throws plenty of punches.
Speed: Good hand speed and pumps out punches in threes and fours
Stamina: Drew likes to start fights fast, win the opening round, and has proved he can fight at a good pace in shorter fights
Anything else: He started boxing aged 10 and trains at the same gym as women’s world champion, Chantelle Cameron
THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW
Football team: “You’ve got to back your local team so Northampton Town, but I also support Liverpool.”
Personal & Family life: “I’ve got a younger brother and sister. I live with my missus and our young son, Hunter. I work as a painter and decorator.”
Music: “I like a bit of everything but Kid Rock is my favourite.”
Fashion: “T shirt and trainers, designer labels.”
Toughest moment: “I snapped my wrist during an amateur fight, but I didn’t tell my coach, carried on fighting – and I won.”
Best moment: “Beating (England international) Louis Claridge in the amateurs and boxing as a pro in Northampton.”
Aspirations: “One day I want the world title, but that’s a long way away. I’ve got to go for the Midlands title, then the English and work my way up.”
Nutrition: “Spence (McCracken) helps me with this. I eat a lot of chicken salad.”
Family Make-up: “I live with my missus and our little boy. He’s mad !”
What got you into boxing? “It’s not all countryside and cottages were I’m from in Northampton, it was a tough area where I grew up and my mum and dad wanted me to be able to look after myself, so they took me to the gym.”
Who was your favourite fighter? “Danny Garcia does it for me.”
Amateur record and achievements? “I had 42 bouts for Far Cotton and won 32.”
Who’s the best boxer you have sparred? “Frankie Gavin and Sam Eggington.”
What are your best assets as a fighter? “I’ve got a high workrate and I’m big for the weight. I’m coming down from super-welterweight.”
What do you know about other fighters in Ultimate Boxxer? “They are all good lads, but I’m not thinking about them too much.”
Goals in boxing? “To be world champion one day.”
Who would you like to fight after UB? “I’m looking to step up to six rounds.”
Favourite TV show? “Big Bang Theory.”
Favourite meal when not in camp? “Indian.”
Hobbies? “Shooting game and taking out my four dogs.”