Despite suffering the first loss of his career, Julius Jackson is still confident of one day achieving his world title dream – especially in such a wide open division.
The 28-year old – son of middleweight king Julian Jackson – tasted defeat for the first time after falling to a second round stoppage in an IBF eliminator against Venezuela’s Jose Uzcategui back in October.
The US Virgin Islands’ super middleweight – a 2008 Olympian – had previously gone 19 fights undefeated and was just one more victory away from a shot at the IBF champion James Degale. The loss instead though has pushed Jackson (19-1, 15 KO) back down the pecking order and he will now have to rebuild and look to come again.
He said: “The first loss was tough and it is always difficult accepting the first defeat of your career. I was on my way to a world title challenge, so it was hard for me because the ultimate dream is to become a world champion. Going into the fight my camp wasn’t the best it could have been, but I still went to do my best. He just caught me early on the temple and that was it. My legs never recovered, that’s part of the boxing game, right?”
“I don’t know yet how much of a setback it will be, but It’s not always difficult to bounce back. A lot of champions have gone through that and I’m ready to come back and do the same. I’m just ready now to move on, get back in there, learn and grow up a bit.
“I’m just waiting for the next fight now and I want an opponent who is ranked and worthy – someone who is up there and can let me get up to where I want to be at. Hopefully, I will get the call soon and get a good fight,” he added.
Jackson has only fought three times in the last two years and freely admits that he needs to be in the ring more frequently and welcomes all challengers.
“I want to be fighting a whole lot more regularly,” he said. “It hasn’t been happening and it’s been very hard to get me fights. Being the son of my dad and having a knockout record, doesn’t make it easy – Hopefully, because of this loss, people will get a bit braver.”
“We are looking to get out early this year some time, but we are still trying to find opponents to take the challenge. The goal is to get top class, formidable opponents and I might have to start calling people out by name to get them. By the end of the year, I want to be in world contention.”
The world scene has opened up in the last twelve months following the retirement of Carl Froch, as well as Andre Ward moving up in weight and Jackson thinks it is as good a time as any to get in the mix.
“The ranks are pretty open now and there aren’t too many super-hard opponents in the 168lb division who you would be too wary of fighting,” he added.
“Degale is probably the best at the weight and top of the list. He is really skilful, a great boxer and has a great amateur background. We were at the 2008 Olympics together and he is a top guy.
“The UK has some great boxers – with the likes of George Groves – and they are all tough, hearty fighters and I would love to face any of those guys. I am happy to fight anyone and I just need to get my name back in contention at the elite level now.”
Matt Horan is a lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123