Monday, June 08, 2009

Kooner the Canadian Brit

He already shares a background story with former Heavyweight Champ Lennox Lewis and now exciting puncher Andrew Singh Kooner wants to replicate Lewis’ achievements in the ring. Kooner like Lewis was born in England but raised in Canada where he started his boxing career. Kooner enjoyed a glorious amateur career which included a European Junior Gold medal, a World Junior Silver medal, Bronze and Silver medals at Consecutive Commonwealth Games and appearances at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. Now Kooner wants to follow in Lewis footsteps by winning British and Commonwealth titles in the pro ranks en route to World title glory. The Kettering born fighter features on the undercard of Hennessy Sports “Rule Britannia” event at the Robin Park Arena in Wigan this Saturday (June 13th). British Lightweight Champ John Murray tops the bill, which is live on ITV4 as he looks to make the second defence of his title against reigning English Champ Scott Lawton while Kooner will be hoping that an impressive win on the undercard will put him in the frame for a title fight. Kooner’s last visit to the U.K. saw him score a stunning one punch KO over Gavin Reid in a candidate for the 2008 Knockout of the Year. He then went on to win the Canadian Bantamweight title but injury has sidelined the 30-year-old since last September and he admits it’s been a difficult period. "The past several months have been really frustrating for me,” revealed Kooner. “I suffered a severe injury in sparing and had to undergo surgery. I’ve been forced to watch on from ringside and that’s been very hard because every fibre of my being was dying to get back in to the ring. I was even in the gym with a heavy cast training like a mad man. I’m not sure if my Doctor would have approved, but I was obsessed with getting back in the gym and fighting again.” Kooner is determined to get back on track in Wigan on Saturday night. “I've come back faster, stronger and smarter from the injury. I’ve been working very hard with my trainer Chris Johnson and he has really put everything together and fine tuned my style.” At 30 Kooner knows that he needs to have a big 12 months if he is to realise his undoubted potential. “This year has to be the year that I make my mark on the World scene. I would love a shot at the British and Commonwealth belts in the next few months and like all Hennessy Sports fighters I really want to go down the proper traditional route by working my way to a World title shot. “If Mick Hennessy and Adam Harris can deliver those fights for me then I’ll be ready and I won’t disappoint.” Kooner has taken inspiration from the exploits of stablemate Carl Froch on the World stage and he says that witnessing the WBC Super Middleweight Champ’s stunning win over Jermain Taylor in April has made him more determined than ever to go all the way in the sport. “I've seen the success some of my stable mates have been having on the international scene and that has really fired me up. Carl Froch knocking out Jermain Taylor in the last round was unbelievable, it was like something out of a Rocky movie and I want to follow in his footsteps.” With the “Rule Britannia” event being shown on both sides of the Atlantic Kooner is hoping to catch the eye of TV viewers this weekend. “I'm really looking forward to fighting on ITV and on Super Channel back in Canada. My family and friends from the U.K. and Canada can both tune in and watch and it's great exposure for me on both sides of the pond.” The John Murray – Scott Lawton British Lightweight title fight headlines a big night of boxing at the Robin Park Arena, Wigan on Saturday, June 13th. Kooner will feature on the undercard alongside unbeaten Heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury who will have his seventh professional outing while in a battle of Champions, Central Area title holder Nadeem Siddique takes on Southern Area Champ, Tom Glover. Hot prospects Steve “Super Bad” Barnes and Phill Fury also feature with Bobby “Boogaloo” Ward, the last Englishman to defeat Amir Khan making his pro debut on the card.


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