Brandon ďBad BoyĒ Cook, an 18-0 junior middleweight from Ajax, Ontario Canada in for his biggest fight of his career-taking place on September 9th against highly feared Kanat Islam (24-0 plus additional World Series of Boxing bouts) in Islam's home nation, Kazakhstan. Islam also won a bronze medal in the 2008 Olympics. It is a difficult assignment, and Cook deserves credit for taking on the challenge. He spoke to Boxingtalk's Ivan Montiel at length about the biggest fight of his career.
IM: Bad Boy, youíve got a big fight taking place on September 9th. Tell us how has training camp gone so far?
BC: Well this is the very first fight in which I quit my full time job. Itís been a little over a month now. I am a full-time fighter, this is the first time I will have a full-time training camp. In my last fight, I trained for only six weeks. Finally, I can train like every other fighter. I do train a few clients here and there on the side other than that, I donít get paid. If I win this fight we are on a good road!
IM: Looks like this is the biggest fight of your career?
BC: Yes most definitely! My biggest fight was my fight against Steven Butler but Kanat Islam is definitely bigger than Steven Butler!
IM: Are you by any means nervous at all having to travel outside of Canada for the very first time?
BC: No I donít care. We are going to be in Saryaka Velodrome, Astana (Kazakhstan) at least ten days before our fight to try to adjust to the climate since Astana is roughly 5000 feet above sea level. The food might be different yet at this point I donít care. All I care about is to go there to win. I make no excuses; Kanat Islam is very good he won the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Kanat Islam did well in the amateurs yet he hasnít fought anybody like Bad Boy! Kanat Islam will realize once I land a big shot it will be a war. I wonít walk right through him nor he will walk right through me. Itís going to be a good fight for boxing fans!
IM: Looks like somebodyís 0 has to go!
BC: (laughs) Thatís exactly what I keep saying! The same thing happened in my last fight against Steven Butler somebodyís 0 had to go and it wasnít mine!
IM: (laughs) That fight against Steven Butler sure was a fight especially with the French Canadians!
BC: Yes I believe it was built too much with Quebec versus Ontario. I donít think it was the right move, the French Canadians got a little hostile especially once they saw Steven Butler got stopped. What happened after the fight shouldnít happen in boxing. After my win I go over to shake Butlerís hand yet he pushes me away then next thing I knew I got hit with a bucket over my head. (Laughs)
IM: I remember seeing that horrible scene all over the news, many boxing fans were very upset with the way you were treated after your TKO win over Steven Butler.
BC: Well not just that, also look at what happened prior to my fight against Steven Butler. We had a glove situation were gloves were supposed to be 8 ounces but I noticed before our fight my gloves were 10 oz. and Butlerís were 8 oz. ďI was like what the f*ck is going on here? They were like in Montreal, Quebec we fight with 8 oz. when it comes to 154 pounds and nowhere around the world does anybody do such a thing except for in Quebec, Canada. I didnít even know that until last minute yet I went along with it anyways.
IM: That fight with Steven Butler sure was quite an experience that you went through.
BC: I was going through many things like I just broke up with my ex during the Christmas holidays. I had a lot going on and my mind just wasnít there yet I still pulled through. I didnít want to bring up any excuse therefore I did everything possible to win. I had a good training camp.
IM: Now letís go back to Kanat Islam isnít he from the same territory as GGG [Gennady Golovkin]?
BC: Yes as a matter a fact I have seen pictures of Kanat Islam with GGG. I also heard Kanat Islam was scheduled to fight Saul "Canelo" Alvarez but that fight didnít happen since GGG versus Canelo got made.
IM: Now knowing that Kanat Islam is from the same territory doesnít concern you at all? It seems like boxing has a lot of good fighters coming up from Kazakhstan.
BC: No. But I must admit these Russians are very good, they are one of the biggest fighters in boxing today. Kanat Islam is human but I am also human. Russians might have the high altitude yet I know how hard I train and thatís what separates me from them. I know how tough I am not going there to lose. I am going there to just collect a pay I am doing this fight for my career! My dream is to win a world title one day! Islam was close to fighting for a world title therefore if I beat this guy I will be ranked top ten in the world.
IM: Well this fight is big and you have Canada rooting for you!
BC: I am hoping to put us on the map! I am not supposed to win; I am supposed to be a tune-up fight. I sure hope Kanat Islam is underestimating me because once that bell rings it will not be a tune-up fight!
IM: Well you always put on a show! You donít just head hunt you sure love to mix things up by also working the body.
BC: Body work is one of my favorite things to do it slows down my opponents. I worked Butlerís body, which slowed Steven down after that 4th round and from there on it was a matter of time before I caught him. I have to have the same type of game plan for this fight. Islam also comes straight forward just like Butler did. I truly believe I have fought better opposition than Kanat Islam. Look at Islamís record, pay attention to his first pro opponent Daniel Beato with that record of 1 win 25 losses. Give me a break, I have never fought an opponent with such a lousy record. Islam hasnít fought anybody like myself or anybody as tough as Steven Butler. I am a big test for Islam! I am sure once I arrive to his hometown, everything will be against me yet once the bell rings thereís nothing anybody can do!
IM: His fans canít fight for him.
BC: No unless the same thing happens with what happened in my last fight. (Laughs) As long as I get out of there alive I am happy!
IM: (laughs) You just never know what to expect when travelling to hostile territory just look at what happened with Kendall Holt versus Ricardo Torres in their first fight in Colombia and how the crowd threw trash into the ring.
BC: I sure hope my fight doesnít end up like that instead I hope it end like Rocky 4! I am pretty sure Islam will be tough as nails therefore I am bringing my cardio up to another level. Every little thing makes a difference in every fight. My nutrition plus I am no longer working elsewhere, this is it! I am putting everything on the line for this fight!
IM: Can we expect to see anything new from Bad Boy?
BC: I am no longer working elsewhere, (laughs) that will be the big difference! I have never had the opportunity to train full time before. Everything is perfect up till now and we still have six weeks to go. I feel stronger than I have ever felt. My team Mike Guyett (head trainer) Gordon McPhail (strength and conditioning coach) and Carlos Varela (cut man) has done everything possible to get me to the level in which I am now. Mike Guyett has done so much for now since day one heís helped me a lot, we connect very well. In regards to sparring we have a Mexican coming in next week. We will be also working with Steve Rolls who helped me with my fight against Butler.
IM: Undefeated middleweight prospect Steve Rolls-- this guy is doing very good. As a matter a fact Rolls just won another fight in June.
BC: Yes I was in Verona, NY for that fight. It was a very good performance by Steve Rolls! Demond Nicholson was a slick boxer yet Rolls was able to pull off a win. I would love to spar with Rolls but at the same time things get heated and itís not good to take too many head shots. Itís not good for the brain. I start my training camp slow but once it gets closer to fight night I start to steam things up. I donít want to jump in right away, Rolls spars the best all the time though. I peak right at the fight.
IM: In regards to training I noticed you posted a video of you running a hill on Instagram.
BC: Yes since Saryaka, Velodrome is a high altitude. Thatís why we are trying to run up big hills. Once I reach the top of the hill my strength coach has battle ropes and well we keep doing that same workout over and over again. Each week I have more people to come with me that way they can push me to run a little faster each and every time.
IM: What do you do once you reach the top put your arms up like Rocky?
BC: (laughs) Maybe I should do that! Every time I reach the top I have to do something quick since I am so gassed out. This is something different which I like to do every training camp. We sprint, do pads we do everything I sometimes hate doing it but it pays off just like it did in my last fight. Normal people donít do these types of workouts. I push myself to the limit each and every time. I know this fight wonít be this tough or maybe it will be this tough thatís why I have to prepare myself for everything right?
IM: Well yes-hard work sure pays off just like Floyd Mayweather Jr says!
BC: Hard work always pay off, although I may not be as slick as Floyd Mayweather Jr heís better of course but when it comes down to the will and the nitty gritty, I am in there ready to go! My mindset it doesnít matter. Whatever Islam comes with I will break him down! I did the same thing to Butler. Hopefully I donít land that big shot because I am pretty sure I wonít win on the judges' scorecards. I have no other choice but to KO Kanat Islam.
IM: I was just about to say the same thing. By going to your opponent's territory, you have no other choice but to win by KO
BC: Yes the judges are from there thatís why I have no other choice but to KO Kanat Islam!
IM: I was also about to ask you are there any predictions but I guess you just answered that question as well.
BC: Personally I donít believe I can win by decision unless of course I outbox Islam. This guyís style is similar to my style of fighting we will both be trying to take each otherís head off! I am a boxer puncher who will try to take my opponents head off. I want to slow this guy down just like I did against Butler. This guy has a big head but if I land my big shot I donít care how big his head is I will put him down!
IM: Not only do you head hunt you love working the body thereís not too many guys out there right now who go downstairs.
BC: Well I know exactly how body shots feel I rather get hit on my head. I know how body shots slow people down. My coach keeps working on that left hook to the body. If I connect body shots it hurts and slows guys down. I have also been working on a couple of different things for this fight as well. My cut man Carlos has taught me to stab not slap, itís all about how I throw my punch in and outside in and outside itís those little things which make a big difference. Once you get hit in the body you will know exactly what I am talking about.
IM: I know it hurts. I also grew up watching The Body Snatcher Mike McCallum, J.C.Chavez, and Arturo Gatti etc.
BC: Oh yeah! It makes a big difference! Once this guy drop his hand down just a little which he tends to do and if I land that jab to the body over hand right I tell you right now this guy is going to sleep!
IM: Any message you would like to send out to Kanat Islam?
BC: No I am not a shit talker I just hope everything goes well for this guy during training camp. All I want is a fair shot no stupid shit. This guy better know I am coming over to fight!
IM: What would you like to say to all your fans in Canada?
BC: I would like to thank all my fans especially the people who have supported me since day one. This will be my biggest payday! My fans can check out my website at www.badboycook.com all my social media accounts are on my website. I even have fans from Quebec, Canada following me. Itís probably because of the way that fight ended they know how hard I worked for that fight. At first they thought I was a hand picked opponent but in the end they realized I was prepared. Look man if you put your mind to it you can do anything!
IM: Itís crazy especially since back in the days I wanted Tyson to beat Lewis and here I am a Lennox Lewis fan!
BC: (Laughs) Itís crazy how one fight can change a story. That Steven Butler fight changed everything at for Canadian boxing! Nobody knows who Brandon Cook is other than my Canadian fans but after this fight I am pretty sure the world of boxing will know how Bad Boy is! Hereís the thing though even if I beat Kanat Islam I still have to fight this guy again since itís on contract.
IM: Thereís a rematch clause?
BC: Yes exactly therefore I would have to fight this guy within 90 days.
IM: Now would you have to travel back to Kazakhstan for a rematch?
BC: Yes I am pretty sure I would have to but I donít care letís do it again! As long as my ranking goes higher and I get closer to a world title fight thatís what matters to me the most!
IM: Well I must say I sure love your mentality since not too many fighters are willing to travel to take that big chance.
BC: Too many fighters want to protect their record but no we must built ourselves up to get to this point. Thanks to my promoter Tyler Buxton has been doing a really good job, my entire team is going with me. I just hope thereís a live stream here in Canada where this fight can be watched. I donít have the exact information in regards to how my fans can watch me versus Kanat Islam but then again if you have an Android box I am sure you will be able to stream this fight. The time difference will be different though. I will be fighting Saturday night therefore in Canada my fight will be viewed by Sunday morning.
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