Express & Star

Cannock's Ollie Cooper to get a close look at his next opponent

Cannock middleweight Ollie Cooper will be on a spying mission when championship boxing comes to his home town next month, writes Matt Bozeat.


Promoter Scott Murray has announced the vacant Midlands Area middleweight title will be on the line on his next Excelsior Sporting Club show, at Bar Sport Premier Suite on Thursday, March 21.

Liam O’Hare will face Tom Brennan over 10 rounds – and Cooper looks set for a shot at the winner.

The 23 year old southpaw has won all seven fights and has fight No.8 pencilled in for April.

“I want the title after that,” said Cooper, who’s trained by Richie Carter after serving his amateur apprenticeship under him at Wolverhampton ABC. “I will be there to watch the title fight.

“I suppose you have to pick Liam to win because he’s won the title up at super middleweight, but Tom has been in with some good lads.

“It should be a cracker. You never see a boring fight for the Midlands title. The fighters know winning that title will really push them on. Everyone wants to win it and win it in style.”

The record books show the Midlands Area middleweight championship has proved a stepping stone for to a British title shot for several fighters, including Darren McDermott, from Dudley, and the current British champion, Stoke’s Nathan Heaney.

Cooper said: “When I used to watch boxing on television with my dad when I was growing up I would see the Lonsdale belt and think: ‘Wow!’

“It has to be the most prestigious belt in boxing.

“Every British boxer wants one and they don’t just give them away. Nobody who fights for the British title is there fort the pay cheque. They are guaranteed to fight their heart out.

“Being British champion is massive accolade. It’s something you aim for.”

Cooper says he is taking the steps to get there under manager Jon Pegg.

He said:: “My last two opponents were tough, tough lads They came to win. I needed those tests. You don’t want to get to 10-0 fighting people who don’t hit you back and then when you get punched in the face you don’t know what to do.”