DailySport catches up with Yisan Rodriguez and Corey Jackson ahead of the their clash on the 19th April at Queensbury Boxing League



Corey Jackson


PZ:     How did you first get into boxing?


CJ:     I got into it from when I was about 16 years old. A friend of mine at school was boxing and I went down the gym with him.


I also had other family members who had boxed, some winning ABA titles – twice!



PZ:     Tell me about your amateur career.


CJ:      I only had four amateur fights and won all of them for Phoenix Boxing Club in Nottingham. I was looking to generate an income from boxing to help support my family, and the opportunity was never really there, so I’ve moved on and looked into the semi-pro ciruit.


I’d like to go pro in the long term and QBL I believe will be an excellent stepping stone because the level of boxing is very good, they don’t use head guards, which will help me get used to the pro ranks. It’s also really well run with an incredible atmosphere on the night.


PZ:     I believe this is your first fight for QBL and you are going in against a formidable opponent by way of Yisan Rodriguez.  What made you want to fight in the league and especially at the deep end going for a title fight?


CJ:      I guy I know, also a good boxer, Shane McPhilbin he put me onto QBL. I was originally supposed to fight Anthony Johnson (who Shane trains), but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Anthony also holds a light heavyweight title, and was supposed to fight Yisan fist, but this may now happen with me in June. With Yisan holding the British title, I might be able to fight Anthony for a unification fight.


In all honesty – I’m not fussed who I fight. I would have ideally preferred to have had a bigger lead in time, but when a championship opportunity like this comes your way, you have to take it.


PZ:     What do you know about ‘The Cuban Missile’ Yisan Rodriguez?


CJ:      I’ve had the DVD sent to me of his previous fights and he’s got a good style and he’s a strong lad. I’ve got an interesting style also and can bang, so it’s going to be a good fight.


PZ:     Any messages for him if he’s reading?


CJ:      No messages.


PZ:     How’s the training camp been going?


CJ:      It’s been going well. I’ve been sparring with some top guys from some great gyms such as the Ingle’s gym. I’ve also been training a bit with ex pro Tony Laing (Kirkland’s brother).


PZ:     Tell me about the team around you.


CJ:      Lee Kidger trains me and also my dad – a great team. They know how to read me and get the best out of me.


PZ:     Tell me one thing about yourself not many people know.


CJ:      Everybody knows everything about me! Nothing new to share I’m afraid.


PZ:     If you could spar three rounds with any past boxing legend, who would it be?


CJ:      Mike Tyson. I’ve been told I have a similar style to him.


PZ:      Yisan better watch out then!


CJ:      Yisan better watch out anyway! If he thinks because my record is not the same as his that this is going to be a walk in the park, he better think again. I’ve got a good chin and I’m a puncher.


Yisan Picture Daily Sport

Yisan Rodriguez


PZ:      Congratulations on your recent victories. You are still undefeated – what’s your long term aims and ambitions?


YR:     To become world champion would be nice!


PZ:      You fight against Corey Jackson who comes from an ABA past. How much do you know about him, and does it faze you that this is his debut?


YR:     I’ve only seen a video of him and to be honest I don’t know how old it was really or how representative it is of his boxing ability, but I’m not really fazed by anybody really. Whether I’m impressed or not wouldn’t change my decision on fighting him or how I would fight on the night.


PZ:      What’s your strategy going into this fight?


YR:     It depends. I improvise and adapt a lot when I’m in the ring. I train for certain fighters in certain ways, but the moment I get in there I’m able to work out the best way to handle the boxer in front of me.


PZ:      Corey’s looking to come in as a brand new fighter and take your hard earned title and unblemished record away. Any messages for him if he’s reading?


YR:     That’s not going to be easy for him. I think he should have attempted something a bit more realistic in terms of a debut fight and then maybe work his way through the ranks. However, if ‘Two Guns’ wants to jump in with ‘The Missile’ straight away, I can only hope he knows what he’s doing.


PZ:      How’s the training camp been going?


YR:     It’s all good. I’ve had a few issues over the past couple of months which have been back to back. Things like a chest infection and sustaining some injuries falling off my bike such as hurting my wrist, but with all these setbacks I’ve kept on training, kept fit and kept focused.


PZ:      Last time we spoke I mentioned to the readers about your talents as a fine artist. How that side of things progressing?


YR:     I’ve placed it on hold really. That said, I’ve got a drawing on a board I’m currently completing, but with my fights recently, it’s had to go on the back burner. It’s certainly something I want to pursue more. Take a look on my Twitter page for more!

PZ:      Who’s going to win between Groves and Froch?


YR:     I’m going for Froch. I think he has the skill to beat him, but I just think he didn’t have the mentality for this fight. He got frustrated where he wouldn’t have in the past. He was trying to take Groves out with swinging punches whereas in the past he would have used his boxing skills. If he’s in the right frame of mind I think he will beat Groves.


PZ:      If you could spar with any current boxer in the world in any weight category, who would it be?


YR:     If there’s one person who I’d love to spar and who I would think ‘Wow’, it’s Guillermo Rigondeaux. He’d be tiny compared to me, but his amateur record is one of the best in history and he’s making history as a pro now. He’s also Cuban!

Follow Yisan on Twitter                  @Cuban_Missile1


Full photo credits – Sam Wordie




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