Bolsover’s Jamie Robinson aims to make it three wins in a row on July 25 in Derby and believes familiarity will be the key to defeating Loughborough’s Sam Sharpe over four rounds.
Robinson, known as the ‘Ginger Rocket’, used to train alongside Sharpe at the Shinfield’s Gym in Somercotes and therefore enters his next pro fight – his eighth – with the inside track.
“We never sparred but I used to go down Shinfield’s and go on runs with him and we’d chat,” he said. “It was nothing too personal, but we got to know each other a bit.
“I have no doubt he’s going to turn up on July 25 and want to win. We’re both on a home show, we’re both promoted by Clifton Mitchell, but I’m the one who sells the tickets.
“It’s going to be a really good fight. I just look at the level he’s been used to boxing and know that he’s not on my level.
“He looks a raw, novice type who is just really game and really eager. He’ll definitely stand there and fight with me. I’ve got no doubt about that.”
The 23-year-old Robinson took a year out after losing two fights in a row, only to return in 2015 with wins over Patryk Jackowiak and Jack McCormack. The upturn in fortune was triggered, in part, by the arrival of a new coach.
“I had back-to-back losses and took some time out,” recalled Robinson, 5-2-1 (1 KO). “I lost a bit of love for boxing. But then Ryan Rhodes gave me a call and said he was starting up a gym and that he wanted to train me. He said he thought I was a talent and wanted to make sure I wasn’t a wasted talent.
“Even though Ryan was pestering me for weeks, though, I was adamant I didn’t want to box again. But he said you’ll kick yourself if you don’t box again and it was true.
“I ended up coming back and it only took one session with Ryan for me to fall back in love with boxing. I then joined up with a strength and conditioning coach, Shane Nicholson, who used to play for Derby County Football Club, and I’ve just developed and am enjoying the sport again.
“Ryan’s not necessarily changing my style – he’s allowing me to box how I want to box – but he’s finding little things that need tweaking and improving. Ryan’s been there and done it, so how can you argue with what he’s telling you? I have a lot of respect for him.”
Now seemingly better than ever, Robinson wants to continue his fruitful 2015 with victory against Sharpe and then work his way towards domestic titles.
“I love a body shot and I’m very, very fit,” he said. “Sam will come strong for two rounds and then I’ll finish strongly by breaking him up with body shots. I throw between 100 and 150 punches a round. He won’t be able to live with that.
“Nobody who comes and watches me ever goes home saying I’m a boring fighter. I always give value for money. I’m an exciting fighter. I’m good at entertaining the crowd and getting them pumped up. Sam Sharpe is a great opponent for me and we’ll have an absolute brawl. I’m not going to back off and he’s not going to back off, either.”
*** Tickets for Blackwell vs. Jones can be purchased from the Derby Arena Box Office on 01332 255800 or by visiting www.derbylive.co.uk ***
*** Blackwell vs. Jones will be televised live on Channel 5 on July 25, while the supporting undercard will be televised live earlier in the evening on Spike ***