New Year’s Resolutions: John Cooley “very happy” with transition to the pros

Derry fighter John Cooley [1(0)-0] finally made his debut last Summer, and is looking to make up for lost time in 2017.

Now 30 years old, Cooley is finally fighting after management issues saw his initial debut date – over four years ago – fall through.

Cooley is now based out of St Petersberg, Florida, under esteemed coach Jim McLoughlin and alongside former amateur team mate Connor Coyle, and is delighted to have the opportunity to be a professional boxer.

Not only has it been a long time coming, the move to the pros is one which suits the former St Jospeh’s fighter, and he told Irish-Boxing.com how “I am very happy with my transition. I think my style as an amateur fits the pros better anyway, we always said that even when I was an amateur.”

“It’s very much like I expected – hard work and great fun. My manager and training team made the transition very easy for me.”

Some unfortunate scheduling means that Cooley has yet to re-enter the ring since his points victory over Roberto Carlos Martinez last Summer in Tampa, but the Ulsterman is anticipating a busy 2017 – starting of at the A La Carte Pavilion on March 17th.

He outlined how “I’m hoping to get at least six fights this year. I was supposed to fight on September 29th then it got moved to October 7th and I was in Ireland for my sister’s wedding so had to miss that one. Then again there was talk of me being on the show in Dublin on February 25th, but my baby is due February 9th so I couldn’t take the chance of committing to that date.

“I just want to end the year with a solid record of wins and get as much experience as possible in the gym and in my fights. I know I’m 30 but I still have time to keep the pace even and steady and not to rush in.”

An exciting, attacking fighter, Cooley describes how “I based my style on Cotto as an amateur, and I think that’s what I bring to the pros – good head movement, nice defence, high hands, and boxing on the front foot. Pressure, but keeping my boxing up as well. I’m moving down from featherweight as I made 123lbs for my last fight and the weight limit was 127lbs so I may as well be stronger at 122lbs [super bantam]. I want to bring my power to the ring this year with plenty of KOs.”

Joe O’Neill and Gavan Casey look ahead to 2017 in episode 1 of The Irish Boxing Show

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie