Owen Cooper resumes a long-term plan to prove himself as the best of British when he makes his pro debut later this month.
Worcester’s Cooper turns over and joins the welterweight division, with Malcolm Melvin training him ahead of the switch.
He features on BCB Promotions’ show at Walsall Town Hall on Saturday September 28. The bill is titled ‘Britain Awaits’ as Lennox Clarke and Andrew Robinson – two men knocking on the door of British title contention – are both in action at the top of the bill.
The teenage prospect, who turns 19 just 11 days before his next ring assignment, has previously sampled success from a stellar amateur career.
He became an England Youth national champion last year, before stepping up to the seniors for the 2019 England Elite competition.
Cooper scored a unanimous points result over Youness Baati, who has featured for Morocco Atlas Lions in the World Series of Boxing.
Second seed Elliott Whale ended his run in the national quarter-finals, squeezing past him on a split decision.
Cooper has also represented England on four occasions, recording three wins for his country, and secured silver when competing in the GB Championships.
His amateur ledger finished on 41 outings, with 32 wins, including 17 successes over fellow national champions. He represented his hometown outfit, Worcester City Boxing Club.
His preparations for the pros have seen him spar with BCB stable-mates Sid Bowater and Levi Ferguson, plus fellow former amateur star Tommy Collins.
Cooper is planning to hit the heights that eluded him in the unpaid ranks, where he consistently pitted himself against his rivals.
He said: “I did well as an amateur, even after winning the national title. I only went out of the Elites on a split and I beat the Moroccan lad unanimously.
“I boxed a few times for England, but I never really felt like my face fit. I would always do well in sparring, but it never seemed to get me anywhere.
“It would have been a long time to wait before the Elites came around again, so I’ve decided to take the plunge and turn pro.
“Sparring with the pros is a different level, I’ve found that the pace is slower and you get hit harder. I’ve soaked it all up and got used to it.
“I beat some good opponents, as an amateur, and I don’t see why I can’t do the same as a pro. My aim is the British title, I would be living the dream from there.
“I won silver in the GB Championships, but I never got to nail down the No 1 spot domestically and that’s still something I want to do.
“It’s exciting to make my debut and, as soon as the bell goes, the nerves will go out of the window and I’ll do what I do.
“My coach calls me ‘Classy Cooper,’ because I can box on the back-foot and mix it up. I won’t give up and I’ll have a fight with anyone.”
The undercard is stacked.
Lennox Clarke, from Halesowen, has been put forward to contest the vacant British middleweight crown with Commonwealth champion Lerrone Richards.
Clarke sees his first action of 2019, having previously held the IBO Continental bauble and was previously mandated to challenge for the English strap.
‘Dangerous’ steps into a pro ring for the 20th time, with 19 victories and no defeats. He’s demonstrated power with seven TKOs, five of those inside a round.
Andrew Robinson, a Redditch-based Brummie, has been selected to oppose British middleweight boss Liam Williams.
The 34-year-old veteran is determined to add to Midlands and IBO Continental belts after racking up 28 pro bouts, with 23 wins.
His finest hour so far came last time out, in April, when ‘D’Animal’ went over to Poland and handed Damian Jonak his first defeat, with his opponent unbeaten after 42 pro contests.
Liam Davies, of Donnington in Telford, resumes his efforts in the super bantamweight division still inside his first year since turning over.
The second generation fighter has shown power over his four wins and already has his maiden TKO, with two other opponents also visiting the floor but seeing the final bell.
The son of former Midlands champion Tristan Davies previously racked up 100 amateur contests, for his father’s Donnington Boxing Club, and boxed for England.
Dudley’s Ruben Campbell is preparing to lace on the gloves again, after outpointing Matt ‘MJ’ Hall on his pro introduction in May.
Another second-generation boxer, Campbell is planning to campaign as a super lightweight, the same ranks where his dad Ray ‘Raza’ Campbell featured in the early 1990s.
Rachel Ball, from nearby Aldridge, returns six months on from her own trip overseas to extend former European featherweight champion Katharina Thanderz to the distance.
That loss came in Norway came after four points successes, with Ball looking to bounce back after getting an eight-rounder under her belt.
Two more debutants complete the presence in the home corner, with Dylan Norman and Kashif Khan others to make their pro bow.
Norman, Birmingham born but living in Knowle, is a super lightweight who is looking to learn fast, after just nine bouts of amateur experience.
He’s also 19 and boxed for West Warks Boxing Club and Frankie Gavin’s Ringside Gym when he did compete.
Fellow super lightweight Khan is Walsall born and bred and graduates from Wednesbury Boxing Club, where his grounding began.
Tickets, priced at £35 standard or £65 VIP ringside with a buffet and waitress service, are on sale now from the Town Hall Box Office on 0845 111 2900. T
It’s £40 for entry on the door.