SAINTS fans probably feared they would have to wait until 2013 to get their own back on rivals Warrington following last week’s Super League semi-final heartache.
But boxer Alan Johnson, of Clock Face, is determined to even the scores for his hometown when he goes toe-to-toe with Wolves forward Mike Cooper next month.
The 28-year-old is set to top the bill against Cooper as part of a charity boxing night – in aid of the family of a fallen soldier – at the Park Royal Hotel in Stretton, near Warrington, on November 3.
And, despite it being both his and Cooper’s first bouts, the married father-of-five is in confident mood.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to it.
“I joined the Sutton ABC gym after Christmas to try to get fit.
“But I started really enjoying my boxing and things have just gone on from there.
“Mike Cooper played against Saints last week and I’ve already weighed him up.
“He’s a little bit taller than me, which could be a slight disadvantage, but neither of us has fought before so it could go either way.
“I’ve got to focus on keeping my head moving when I’m in the ring to slip out of the way of his punches.
“That can be as important as making sure I land myself.
“I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready now.
“I’ve got lots of running and gym work planned over the next couple of weeks.
“I’m already running up to six miles a day and spending two or three hours in the gym.”
Alan’s coach, Sutton ABC founder Joe Paladino, reckons Cooper could take his fighter lightly.
He said: “No disrespect to this Warrington player, but I bet he thinks Alan’s got this one in the bag.
“Mike’s a superstar in Warrington, but if he takes Alan lightly, he’s going to get knocked out.
“He might pull out yet though – if he’s got any sense.”
Joe, who runs the Sutton Road gym where Alan trains every day, added: “Alan is definitely ready for this first bout.
“He sparred 10 rounds with a former ABA champion last week.
“In boxing there are no guarantees, especially in the heavyweight
division, as fights can be more unpredictable.
“But Alan is dedicated enough and works hard enough to forge a successful boxing career.”
For more details about how to get tickets for the fight, call Joe on 07794 773004.