Shaun Cooper is prepared to go into the trenches again to get his hands on the Midlands super featherweight title.
His opportunity will come at the Eastside Rooms, on Woodcock Street in Birmingham, headlining a Friday fight night that’s set for September 30.
The area belt is vacant and was last contested in 2019, with Josh Baillie the former champion. Cooper and Nottingham’s Joe Underwood Hughes now both co-challenge.
Cooper was thrust into a Midlands title tilt at lightweight, also in 2019, but was halted in the fourth round by Jack O’Keeffe. Three years later, the 25-year-old goes down a weight.
‘The Scorpion’ has 13 wins to his credit and four losses on his pro record, the latter of which all came against formidable opposition. He’s also held a WBO Youth bauble.
After O’Keefe, Cooper has only been bested by top prospects Mark Chamberlain and Sam Noakes, along with Rylan Charlton in the three-round BOXXER Series.
He went the full eight rounds with Chamberlain and felt aggrieved by the TKO suffered against Noakes, which came a session away from the final session, during the ninth.
Entering May’s BOXXER Series saw him outpoint Brooklyn Tilley unanimously, before Rylan Charlton forced the finish in the third and last round of their clash.
‘The Coalpool Warrior’ is battling on, though, and still has Walsall cohort Martin Gethin, a former British lightweight champion, in his corner as coach.
Cooper said: “I asked for a title shot and Errol (Johnson, head of boxing for BCB Promotions) has done wonders to get me this chance. This is my route back to contention.
“I reckon I’ll be strong at this weight and when I last boxed for the Midlands (title), I was only 1lb over the super feather limit. I’m more than capable of going between the two weights.
“I’d fight Jack O’Keefe again tomorrow, for nothing. I don’t even know what has happened to him. He’s lost a couple since and there’s no talk of him coming back.
“That’s the defeat that I’ll never forget, because it’s the one time where I let myself down, in five years of being a pro. I was beating him, on points, and a body shot changed everything.
“I’ve been in with bigger punchers, Mark Chamberlain threw everything at me and I got up twice and Sam Noakes was relentless, but the referee shouldn’t have stopped that one.
“It was a mistake going into BOXXER, the three rounds didn’t suit me and it was a gamble that didn’t pay off. Rylan Charlton caught me with a punch to the temple and I was dazed.
“I can’t do anything about any of that now, all that I can do is make sure that I win this time. If I turn up on the night, I can’t see him beating me.
“I can box or I can stand there and trade, going forwards or backwards, and I know that he likes to be on the back-foot. He’s a switch hitter, as well, so I’ve been sparring southpaws.
“I’m going to take it to him for 10 rounds and we will see what he’s got in the tank. I think my ability and experience make me the favourite.”
Tickets for the Eastside Rooms bill are available, priced at £40 standard or £75 VIP ringside with buffet and waitress service, directly from the boxers or by visiting myfighttickets.com.