SWINDON’S Jamie Cox says he did not hesitate at all upon being offered a spot in the upcoming World Boxing Super Series tournament that will pit eight top class super-middleweights against each other.
The unbeaten southpaw sees this as the big chance he has been waiting for his entire boxing life. First up is a fight with reigning WBA champ George Groves, and Cox, 23-0 (13) is in training for the October 14 fight at Wembley already.
Here Cox speaks exclusively with Boxing News:
Q: The fight between you and George Groves is a big fight by itself, but as part of the WBSS tournament, it is even bigger. Have you added pressure/motivation?
Jamie Cox: “I’m taking it one fight a time in this [tournament]. But this is what we’ve been working towards my whole life, my team and myself. Of course it’s a really big deal, even more so because it’s the start of the tournament for myself and George, so yes, I have motivation to up my game even more. If anything, I think Groves has put all the pressure in himself, saying it [our fight] will be easy for him.”
Q: When was a place in the tournament first offered to you, and how long did you have to think about entering or not?
J.C: “I can’t remember the exact date, but as soon as [I was offered a place] I said yes. There was no hesitation. I sat down with my team and it was just a no-brainer. It’s a great opportunity, no way could I turn it down.”
Q: How did you think Groves looked in beating Fedor Chudinov to win the WBA belt?
J.C: “I thought he was losing the fight, and maybe Chudinov could have gone on, but the finish Groves put on was great. It’s strange in a way, that me and George will fight now. When I first got into boxing at amateur level, he was one of the very first people I knew. We became friends and now, all these years later, we’re fighting each other for the world title.”
Q: Groves, who is a year younger than you at 29, has had some tough fights. Do you think this fight has come at the perfect time for you?
J.C: “He looks ten years older than me [laughs]. I don’t know what he’s been doing, but he looks a lot older than me. But age-wise, at 30, I have added maturity and I’ve calmed down a lot in my approach [in fights] which is a good thing. Mentally I’m wiser and this is the big opportunity I’ve been waiting for. I didn’t get into boxing to win the Southern Area title, I got into boxing to become a world champion.”
Q: Plenty of people see the fight between you and Groves as a “cant-miss” fight in terms of action. Are you anticipating a Fight of The Year contender?
J.C: “No! I just want to win and become world champion. I don’t care if I have to make it a boring fight to do that, whether I have to fight on the back-foot, inside, whatever. I don’t fight to give people excitement, I fight for my family, for my team, and for myself, obviously. The way I fight, my natural style, it’s just me being myself. But what people tend to forget is that I can box. You do not win all the amateur trophies I did (Jamie won the ABA championships in 2005 and the Commonwealth Games gold in 2006, both down at light-welterweight) if you’re just a brawler. I can box, I’m a very good boxer, and George knows that.”
Q: Looking at the other fighters in the tournament, is there any particular fighter you have looked at and thought, he’s a danger-man?
J.C: “I’m the danger-man! The rest of them, they’re all just dinner. I don’t care who I fight. We can look forward to some good, good fights.”
Q: Do you have any opinion on Chris Eubank Junior?
J.C: “He’s a good fighter, you have to respect him. He’s never disrespected me. Personally, I don’t know him, so I can’t really comment. But that’s a good fight for me, in the future. We’ll have to see how the fights [in the tournament] shape up.”
Q: You’ve been a pro for ten years, did you ever get discouraged, through your ups and downs, at having to wait so long for your big chance? (Jamie has endured long layoffs and some out of the ring legal issues.)
J.C: “Yeah … I think anyone in my position, who have had to deal with certain people, would have got discouraged. But I have good friends and a good team, who are not looking at the money; they are looking at the long-term picture. Boxing is like anything in life, with its ups and downs. Boxing is like a marriage. But as I said, I’m older and wiser now.”
Q: The “Super Six” tournament, from October 2009 to December 2011, was great, but it took so long to reach its conclusion, what with certain fighters getting injured and so on. Have you any concerns this tournament could drag on too long for your liking?
J.C: “Well, the promoters of this have dates and deadlines all in place. I think they’ve learnt from what happened in [The Super Six] and have made plans for that. It’s all very professionally worked out, very impressive.”
Q: Finally, do you see yourself stopping George Groves?
J.C: “I think I have a real chance of stopping him late on in the fight. It will be a good fight, a good boxing match, and it will be a good display. I’ll start sparring straight away. I’ve had a couple of days off to rejuvenate and I’m back training. I’ll be getting to him and I think the late rounds [I’ll stop him.]”