Sheffield boxing: All change for Sam O’maison after scheduled rival quits

Sam O'maison v Lukasz Janik ,Bramall Lane 24/2/2017
Sam O'maison v Lukasz Janik ,Bramall Lane 24/2/2017

Sam O’maison has a week to prepare for a new English title opponent after a last-ditch withdrawal.

The Sheffield fighter - who has previously been the victim of other fighters pulling out, ahead of contests - was due to face Coventry southpaw Jordan Cooke for the vacant English Super Lightweight title on Saturday (April 21) at the Bramall Lane ground’s Platinum Suite.

Bizarrely, Cooke seems to have retired abruptly and his place will be taken by the orthodox Kevin Hooper from Grimsby.

Trainer Ryan Rhodes said: “It was certainly late notice, but the moment his manager Dave Coldwell found out Cooke had decided to retire he notified me and the work began on a replacement.

“If I’m honest, Hooper may be a bigger test for Sam than Cooke would have been.

“Sam now has to change his focus against an orthodox fighter, but we’d struggled finding southpaw sparring partners so he’s had exactly the right sort of preparation, as things have turned out.

“Hooper has won an English championship belt and been in with the likes of Scott Cardle - he is a good boxer.”

O’maison will celebrate his 27th birthday on the day he faces Hooper.

His career stalled slightly when he was stopped in an International Boxing Federation International title match against Spaniard Luca Giacon in Malaga last August.

The South Yorkshire southpaw hasn’t boxed since but is confident he can kick-start his career with a win on home soil.