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Nicky Cook


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Nicky "Cookie" Cook was a very solid British featherweight and super featherweight of the 2000's. His greatest success was capturing the WBO title against the much more favored Alex Arthur in 2008. Cook was a rather good puncher who was tough and game and came forward a lot. At just under 5 feet 7 (169 cm), he was of normal size for a super featherweight, unlike Arthur for instance, who was tall for that weight. His first attempt to win the WBO title at featherweight ended badly, as he was stopped late by Steven Luevano in 2007. Before that, he also won the European and Commonwealth, as well as British feather title. 

Cook was born in Stepney, London, 13 September 1979, and lives in Dagenham, Essex. He turned pro already in December 1998, aged 19. His first fight was at 122 pounds and he won it by a KO 1 against Sean Grant. That was his only fight at super bantamweight. He went 15-0 with 8 knockouts before he won his first title in his 16th fight-World Boxing Federation Intercontinental super feather title-by TKO 3 against Marcelo Gabriel Ackermann, 19 December 2001 at Skydome in Coventry. He defended it against South African Jackie Gunguluza, who much earlier had fought for the IBF title and was stopped by John John Molina. Cook stopped him by a corner retirement after 4 rounds. He defended the title for the second and last time by stopping a rather strong British fighter back then, Gary Thornhill, by TKO 7, 5 October 2002 in Liverpool. 

Deciding to back down to feather division, he then fought for the Commonwealth title in his very next fight, 8 February 2003 against Meshack Kondwani at Fountain Leisure Centre in Brentford. He stopped Kondwani by TKO 12, after suffering a cut on the right cheek in round 10. He then defended the Commonwealth title by KO 2 against David Kililu  and finally a decision against Anyetei Laryea, before fighting for the European title on 20 March 2004 against Cyril Thomas, at Wembley. He impressively knocked out Thomas in round 9 and was now also a European champion. He defended that title twice, first against Johnny Begue by UD and then against Dazzo Williams by KO 2. After one non-title fight, he was ready to challenge for the vacant WBO title. 

That fight came on 14 July 2007, at the O2 Arena in Greenwich and his opponent was Steven Luevano, then 32-1, from the States. Cook put up a rather good fight, but was down five times in all before being stopped early in the 11th round by TKO. He was well behind on all scorecards. After this disastrous attempt, having had problems making the weight, he would return to 130 and fight there for the rest of his career. He opened 2008 by stopping the Bulgarian Kirkor Kirkorov by TKO 2 and then on 6 September he fought Alex Arthur, the interim WBO-champion, for the full WBO title, at Manchester Arena. Cook started best and outjabbed the taller Scotsman, winning the first 3 rounds before Arthur bounced back and won a few of the middle rounds but Cook stayed strong and rallied back in the seventh. The fight seemed up for grabs until the last round, where Cook came out and closed strong, throwing everything he had left in him. This earned him the victory in the end, with the scores of 115-114, 117-111 and 117-112. Arthur complained of a robbery later, but it was a very close fight which Cook snatched in the end, obviously. 

That would turn out to be his final hooray, as he lost the title in his first defense against Rocky Martinez from Puerto Rico. That fight happened on 14 March 2009, again at the Manchester Arena (back then called MEN). Cook started out well and in the second round he shook Martinez and knocked him off balance with a great left hook. However, in round 4, Martinez landed a combination which put Cook down. As he got up, he was finished off with a big left hook and stopped at 2 minutes 20 seconds. He was ahead on all scorecards, two of them by 30-27, at the time. Cookie then took a year off from boxing and returned in 2011, first winning an easy fight against a bottom opponent. On 16 July, he challenged for the WBO title again, now held by Scotsman Ricky Burns. The fight was at Echo Arena in Liverpool, but Cook was of bad luck as he suffered a back injury in prefight training and already in the first round it affected him, as he was put down three times, after which the fight was stopped at 1:33. 

This turned out to be Cook's last fight, and he retired at the age of almost 32. His record is 30 wins, 16 by ko, and 3 losses, all by ko. Nicky Cook was a talented fighter who tangled with some of the best fighters of his time and unexpectedly beat one of them-Alex Arthur. He may have been a bit too aggressive for his own good as he got knocked out or stopped 3 times, but all 3 times against world class fighters. He certainly didn't have a strong defense, since he was more of an offensive fighter, a warrior. He was also able to achieve what fighters like Michael Gomez, Carl Johanneson and Alex Arthur were not-win a "real" world title. 

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