AUSTRALIAN super bantamweight Jason Cooper is supremely confident in causing what many see as a huge upset.
The gritty Queenslander from Deception Bay, takes on slick Namibian and former WBO bantamweight world title challenger and reigning IBO titleholder Paulus Ambunda (23-1, 10 KOs) on December 5th in Namibia.
Cooper, 23, who began boxing aged eleven after seeing an advertisement in the local paper, has now started preparations in his quest to realise what he explains is a dream come true.
“We have just started camp now and I have finished up work today to give the next nine weeks everything in preparation,” said Cooper to Aus-Boxing.
“I’ve had great support from my boss who has been great in giving me the time to really make a go of what is a great opportunity. This is something that I want badly,”
“I will make sure that I can prepare accordingly so I can bring this belt back to Australia,”
“We know the conditions can be quite tough over there in regards to altitude so we will head over earlier to acclimatise to the thin air. We train in pretty humid conditions up here so conditioning won’t be an issue.”
“This is the type of opportunity that you work so hard for. It’s all a bit surreal at the moment, but the time is here for me to take up the challenge of becoming a world champion,”
Cooper (14-2, 7 KOs) is a young man of little fanfare or fuss. When asked about some of his greatest influences in the sport were, Cooper said there was only really one person of note, trainer Damian Smith.
“There is only really one guy and that is my trainer, Damian Smith.” he explained. “I have been working with him from day one and we have a really close relationship which is great, we seem to work really well together,”
“I don’t have idols – I don’t have hangers on – and I have been self-sufficient and independent since I was fifteen years old. I do this for me, no one else.”
“It’s just the way it is and it’s also the way I like it, low key.”
When quizzed on what he knew of his opponent, and how he felt about fighting someone of the calibre of Ambunda, Cooper believes that his physical attributes and his experience will hold him in good stead.
“Nah, it doesn’t worry us at all. I think he is only in his third fight at this weight and I have been here since 2012,” he responded. “We have watched video on him and we think he has a style of fighting that is made for me,”
“I will also have height and reach on him to, so whichever way you look at it, he is going to have his hands full,”
“Like I said before, this opportunity is everything to me, and we know he is a good fighter,” concluded Cooper.
“But on the night I aim to be better and that’s what we will be focusing on for the next nine weeks of preparation,”
“I’m really excited and can’t wait to get over there and take this bloke’s belt,”
Words: Dan Smart/Follow Dan on Twitter @dansmart76