A successful start to Jason
Cook's professional career, with 5 straight wins, followed his highly
successful amateur exploits in which he won a Commonwealth Games silver
medal, two Acropolis Cup gold medals and a bronze in the Italian Cup. He
was on his way.........or so we thought.
In Jason's sixth pro fight he faced
southpaw circuit fighter Trevor Smith, of Birmingham, a none too difficult
task it seemed and another win for Cookie. However, boxing proved once
again just how unpredictable it can be with Smith scoring a sensational
first round stoppage win over Cook. Having suffered his first loss at
professional level Jason was typically gracious in defeat, "He clipped me
with an overhand left and though I got up at six or seven, I was in no
state to continue; the referee did the right thing", he said afterward.
Back on the winning trail
A ninth month layoff was followed by a
return to winning ways with a fourth round stoppage win over Darren
Woodley. Two wins later saw Jason come up against Woody Greenway to
contest the Welsh light welterweight title. As it turned out it was hardly
a 'contest' as Greenway succumbed in the first round to hand Jason the
domestic title. Four wins in 2000 and another in 2001 took Jason's record
to 14-1-0 when his life took an unpleasant turn for the worse.
Her Majesty's Pleasure'
Jason's occupation during his early fight
career was as a full time postman - that was until the day he succumbed to
temptation and used some of the
credit cards that were in his postbag. A
15 month sentence for
processing fraud found a remorseful Jason sitting
in a Pontypool Prison cell (he actually spent 24 weeks inside and another
nine weeks 'tagged'). During the time spent at 'Her Majesty's
Pleasure' he worked as a gym orderly and continued training on a punch-bag
that was taken in for him. Jason also took part in the prison football
team and was taken for 5 mile runs by a generous prison officer. It was
opportunities such as these that helped Jason through his ordeal though he
says, "It's [prison life] not an experience I would like to repeat".
Return to the ring
Jason Cook returned to the ring, in
February 2002, with a superb first round win over Nono Junior. Two
fights, in a month, resulted in two east Europeans (Andrey Devyataykin
and Viktor Baranov) becoming Cook victims by way of points wins.
Power....and the glory
Only 3 months ago,
Jason Cook was serving a jail sentence, his life,
reputation and boxing career in ruins. But after
just three rounds of boxing his life and career were hurtling upward.
The Maesteg fighter (now 18-1) had
the chance to contest the European lightweight championship with just 10
days notice. Evoking memories of Steve Robinson, he didn't hesitate to
accept and took his chance in startling fashion.
Cook travelled to Italy and
destroyed world ranked Italian, Sandro Casamonica in 3 rounds to take the
title; even getting off the floor himself to do it. Immediately the first
bell rang Cook went on the offensive, taking the fight to Casamonica.
Having won the first two rounds Jason continued to attack in the third but
got walloped by a right from Casamonica and found himself on the deck. The Welsh dragon
got up and was now breathing fire! During the inevitable onslaught that
followed from the champion, in his effort to finish the fight, Cook
unleashed a devastating left hook that knocked Casamonica out cold. It is widely understood that to beat an Italian in
Italy you have to knock them out; well there was no mistaking that
Casamonica was out ! The referee didn't bother to count. Jason Cook
was the new European Lightweight Champion.
ďItís like a dream; my life has changed,
it still hasnít sunk in.
That was the best punch Iíve thrown in my life, and it came when I most
needed it. Iím ecstatic; Iím walking around on a cloud. This is all like a
dream to me. Iíve changed my life
completely, and I knew I had the strength inside me to change my life
- boxing has given me the chance", said a
jubilant Jason afterward.
new champ dedicated his win to the late grandson of
trainer Brian Evans. Nathan Evans was an
schoolboy champion, winning
47 of his 50 fights, when in 1999 he sadly lost
his life in a poolside accident. ďIíd like to let everyone know this was for Nathan Evans,
I always said my first major title win would be for him. He was a great
kid and such a talented fighter, he would have gone on to win everything
as a professional. Nathan, this was for you.Ē
Euro title first
Jason Cook successfully defended
his European lightweight title by halting challenger Nassser Lakrib in
just 5 rounds to the delight of the home crowd spectators. In his
first defence of the crown Jason was always on top with his body
punches proving to be the downfall of the game Frenchman.
Light-hitting Lakrib just didn't possess the strength or punch needed
to keep the Welshman they call 'The Power' from launching his
continual damaging attacks to the body.
From the first bell Jason was looking to impress his horde of fans
with a quick knockout and indeed it was only Lakrib's bravery, and at
times the ropes, which kept Nasser upright. The challenger took a
fearful beating in the opening round with Cook landing fierce shots to
head and body which must have had Lakrib wondering what he had let
himself in for.
Lakrib had a better second round or more
accurately, he didn't receive as much punishment from the champion as
the first. However, the respite didn't last with the third and fourth
rounds seeing Jason pick up from where he left off in the opening 3
minutes. The fight ended in the fifth with Lakrib pinned in a neutral
corner under a sustained 'Power' attack to head and body; finally his
brave resistance ended as he dropped to his knees prompting the ref to
step in to end the one-sided affair. The jubilant Welsh fans roared as Jason thanked
them for their support and said, "In 12 to 18 months I will be ready
for a world title fight in fact I'm probably ready now !"
Cook's record extended to 19-1-0.
Cookie wins....but loses European title
In an extremely close, exciting
fight Jason Cook, The Punching Postman, took a split points decision over
the vastly experienced Italian, Stefano Zoff before a sell out crowd at
Bridgend Recreation Centre.
The fight itself was as dramatic as
events that preceded it when the champion weighed in the day before the
fight 2 pounds
overweight. With just two hours grace being granted to remove the excess
weight the European lightweight champion could only manage to lose half a
pound. So as Jason Cook stepped down off the weighing scales for a second
time he lost his title there and then. The title immediately became
vacant, which meant that only Stefano Zoff could win the title, if Jason won - or the fight was drawn - the title would
remain vacant. Somewhat bizarrely the Italian found himself in the
position of fighting for a title that his opponent no longer held.
At the opening bell it was clear
that 'The Power' was determined to show who was the boss and set about
taking charge of the fight as he typically stormed into the former WBA
world champion, throwing heavy shots to head and body in ferocious
combinations. Though never in any real trouble, Zoff spent most of the
first round attempting to stay out of harms way. The second round began much
as the first, with Cook scoring with heavy shots and forcing the fight,
then suddenly as Cook came forward he was met with a short left jab which
dropped him to one knee. More embarrassed than hurt, Cook got up at four
displaying clear annoyance at himself before literally hurtling himself
back at the Italian to regain the initiative.
In the third Jason connected
with a solid left hook followed by a forceful right which prompted Zoff to
display his defensive qualities as he rode out the storm. The infighting
was not for the faint-hearted as Cook ripped in hooks to head and body
with his opponent trying to match him but not able to keep up with Jason's
vast work rate and power of punch. Zoff resorted to holding in the
clinches which clearly annoyed the Welshman who promptly would try to
throw his opponent off and gesticulate to the referee. As the
infighting got progressively rougher - with all manner of rule violations
going on - the fifth round saw Cook being deducted a point by the referee
for allegedly butting his opponent as they both lay over the top rope
after yet another bout of furious tussling inside.
The middle rounds
belonged to Cook as he relentlessly charged down his foe scoring all the
while with big lefts and rights, but by now Stefano sensed he had seen the
Maesteg man's best work and was coming into the fight more and more. The
eighth round saw a now visibly tired Cook slowing down to a pace which was
more suited to the cagey Italian who began to land with increasing
frequency and often made Jason miss wildly which resulted in the Welshman
crashing, off balance, to the floor or into the ropes. From the ninth
round Cook was fighting on heart alone as Zoff picked him off when Jason
made sporadic charges in an attempt to prevent Stefano taking charge of
the fight. The Italian had warmed to the task in hand and was forcing
Jason backwards repeatedly while landing good, solid shots on the target
From somewhere Cookie found the strength to make Zoff think again,
in the eleventh, as he set about whipping in some really hurtful shots,
particularly to the head. The final round was contested mainly with Zoff
attacking and scoring with both hands as Cookie lay against the ropes,
bobbing and weaving, looking to land the one big shot - his famed left
hook. The pay off punch didn't land this time and the decision went to the
judges who scored the fight, 115-113 in favour of Zoff and 114-113 twice
in favour of the winner, Jason Cook.
Cook slays Vincent in 3
Sept 6th 2003
Showing absolutely no sign of ring rust after eight
months of inactivity and more than a few setbacks, Jason Cook returned to
the ring with a superb win over experienced Howard Vincent (Guyana) in 3
Jason's weight troubles had been well documented but
comfortably made the agreed weight for this contest. This was
vintage Cookie at his best, taking the fight to Vincent in his usual
aggressive fashion from the first bell. Howard was clearly unsettled by
Cook's tactics and found it hard to fend off the continued attacks.
Ripping in hard combinations to head and body, in the
second and third rounds, Jason finally sapped all resistance from Vincent
with a series of uppercuts near the end of the third. Howard went back to
his corner and called the referee's attention to an injured hand. The
injury was announced as the official decision for Vincent retiring on his
stool at the end of the third. Although it seems that the battering he was
taking may have been more than a convincing factor in his decision to
powers to 'World' title
Nov. 8th 2003
Jason Cook became Wales second 'world' champion of 2003 when
he took the vacant I.B.O. lightweight title with a trademark
display of power punching before a standing room only crowd at
Bridgend Recreation Centre.
Following Enzo Maccarinelli's 'world' title win in June, Cook
also sealed his victory with a stunning left hook to leave his
opponent, Argentinian Ariel Olveira, utterly defeated.
It would be fair to say that both Cook & Maccarinelli, along
with almost all true boxing fans, do not regard themselves as
true world champions by holding the little regarded IBO & WBU
Following a quiet opening two minutes in which Cook didn't throw
a punch of any significance the crowd leapt to their feet as
Olveira moved in but was met by, the first punch that carried
any real intention from the former European champion, a powerful
left hook that sent him reeling to the canvas. The Argentinian
lightweight champion regained his feet to take a standing count
and, with only 20 seconds of the round to go, survived to the
Early in the second an accidental clash of heads had Jason
reeling away in pain. Recovering after only a short period,
Jason settled into his boxing. While Olveira scored well with
lefts and rights none of his punches carried any real power to
trouble the local fighter. It became evident that it was only to
going to be a matter of time before 'The Power' would take the
title when an overarm right, late in the second, again floored
The third round saw Olveira battered from one side of the ring
to the other as the Welsh fighter rocked him with almost every
punch he threw. Sporting a bizarre looking bright green
hairstyle, Olveira tried to make a fight of it and managed to
stay upright until the fifth when he was again floored by a
Going into the seventh the Maesteg man had taken every round in
what was by now a one-sided affair. Olveira's dream of becoming
a 'world' champion was turning into his worst nightmare. With
less than a minute to go in the round 'Cookie' provided the finishing touch
to an impressive display, as he stalked his opponent across the
ring before unleashing a wicked left hook which sent the
unfortunate Argentinian crashing to the canvas once more.
Referee, Marcus McDonnell took up the count but waved the fight
over as Olveira's cornermen jumped onto the ring apron with towel
in hand, to signal the end of their man's brave challenge.
Bennett beaten in scrappy affair
May 1st 2004
With an unconvincing display Jason Cook ground out an unanimous
116-112, 115-113, 115-113 points win over Hartlepool's Kevin 'The Bulldog'
Bennett to retain his IBO lightweight title, in his first defence.
In what seemed to be an 'off' night for Cook he never really got to
grips with his challenger and take charge of the bout in the manner that
we had become accustomed to seeing from him. There were not many clean
shots landed throughout and a fair amount of wrestling and general rough
stuff that earned both participants frequent lectures from referee, Paul
The Maesteg crowd were, as usual, in good voice as Cook came out for
the first, but were not to witness the usual 'Power' onslaught. Instead
Jason settled into his boxing and seemed content to counter as Bennett
walked forward behind a high guard. Bennett though was playing his own
waiting game as his preferred tactic was to draw Cook onto him and counter
with hard body shots. Thus a rather scrappy, disappointing 12 rounds
The third round saw Jason take a visit to the
canvas from an obviously
low blow. However, the referee didn't see it that way and much to Jason's
annoyance took up the count. Cook rose from the ring apron clutching his
groin, clearly in some discomfort as Paul Thomas waved the fight on. The
first real glimpse of Cook's usual aggressive style immediately came to
the fore as he met an incoming Bennett with a flurry of hooks to put him
on the back foot. Alas, this was one of only a few flashes of Cook's
tenacity during the bout.
With neither boxer dominating there were many rounds that could have
gone either way; in such a scenario the onus is on the challenger to
wrench the title away from the champion. Therein lay Bennett's downfall.
Staying behind his high guard he remained cautious throughout, even when
for long spells during many of the rounds Cook did very little work.
For the first time, in the tenth round, Cook had Bennett in some
trouble as he drove an absolute cracker of a right uppercut right through
'The Bulldog's guard. Never slow in seizing an opportunity Cook fired off
with the customary left and right hooks - but with many of his shots
missing wildly the attack just fizzled out. The final round saw Jason on
the receiving end as he was caught with several solid combinations from
the challenger but held on to take an unanimous verdict from the judges.
The Power on the
5th November 2004
After several injury scares (and change of
opponent) IBO title holder Jason Cook finally stepped into the ring,
six months after his first defence, to face Argentina's Aldo Rios.
Well known for having trouble making the
lightweight limit there was little doubt that this was a
contributive factor - if not the decisive factor - in Cookie's poor
showing. Rios, a genuinely world class performer who had lost only 3
fights to date - with all his losses being in world title challenges
- looked to be in for a busy night as the first round
began with Jason unloading his characteristic left and right hooks.
As the round progressed the challenger began to assert himself with
the crisper and classier looking shots. The second began much as the
first round until Rios shook Cook with a solid right and began to
unload to easily take the round. The end came in the third when Cook
was sent to the canvas by a straight right. Although gamely climbing
off the ring apron, Cook was defenceless against the follow up
attack prompting the referee to step in and halt the bout.
With just one fight in almost two years, a second
round disqualification win against Gary Reid, Jason Cook
announced his retirement from the ring.
With several injuries blighting his career, most
notably a shoulder injury Maesteg's battler commented,
'It's time for me to go now. 'I've had so much trouble with the
shoulder over the years and tendonitis in an ankle which flares up
when I do roadwork that I can't carry on at the top level. 'If I was
going to fight four, or six-rounders, it might be OK, but life as a
journeyman is not for me.'
'The Power' is back !
4th September 2009
After an almost 4 year lay off, Jason Cook once again
showed his power with a successful return to the ring by stopping
Northern Ireland's, Scott Jordan in the fourth of a scheduled six
round bout at Middlesbrough. A clash of heads in the third left
Jordan with a badly cut eyebrow however, it became academic as in
the next round Cook landed the famed left hook whereby Jordan
crashed face first to the canvas; the fight was immediately called
off by the referee.
Entry into the 'Prizefighter' 3 round contest for
light-welterweights saw Jason achieve success by way of a 3 round
TKO over Michael Grant before exiting the tournament by a points
loss to fellow Welshman, and former World Champion, Gavin Rees.
British Title fight......oh, so
9th September 2006
A shot at the British Light-Welterweight Title
was next on the colourful Welsh fighters agenda, against London's
Daws, only beaten once in 23 fights going into
the bout was a strong favourite against the relatively inactive
Cook, who had only boxed 10 rounds competitively in the last 4
years. Sadly, Cook was foiled in his attempt to bring another title
back to Wales after the fight finished in a 12 round draw.
Nine months later (Nov. 2010) saw Cook challenge
for yet another title; this time for his old Welsh
Light-Welterweight championship against Ferndale's, Barrie Jones.
Cook's experience and superior strength saw him power to a 6th round
stoppage to once again become Champion of Wales.
2011 saw Jason claim another 6th round stoppage,
this time Mounir Guebbas being the victim and another
unsuccessful tilt at the British Light-Welterweight Title; losing by
10th round stoppage to title holder, Ashley Theophane. This was
followed by a 3 round stoppage of Laszlo Szekeres in October.
A year and a half after his last fight Cookie
came back (again) to contest a hard fought battle with the
undefeated Glenn Foot, of Sunderland. It was a step too far as Jason
was dropped in the third round, suffered a cut eye in the sixth and
after going down again in the seventh the fight was called to a
Jason Cook, is certainly one of the more
colourful and entertaining fighters to watch. Always adorned in
Welsh regalia, the Maesteg fighter took the European crown in a
major upset on foreign soil; a title he never lost the in the ring.
With a powerful left hook and under-rated boxing skills, the
likeable, down-to-earth Cookie is always a
major attraction on the Welsh boxing