CJ Cope has set his sights on becoming a future professional boxing star after securing a much-coveted ABA title.
The Clifton teenager, who trains at Bad Boyz Boxing Gym, secured the 63-66kg crown with a stunning first round demolition of Harvinder Bansal.
It took just one minute and 12 seconds for Cope to dismantle his opponent as he underlined his power at the Junior and Senior Development Championships in Solihull.
And now the 16-year-old has tasted success, the immensely talented prospect would love a career in the paid ranks.
“The fight went a lot better than I expected,” said Cope.
“I thought it was going to be hard, but yet it turned out to be the easiest.
“I felt that it would go the full distance as he was a good opponent but I got behind my jab and waited for the openings.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was won, but I’ve gone straight back into training.
“I want to go all the way professionally and think this win will be good as people will notice me.
“It was really good experience, and although I would fight at welterweight right now I know I going to be quite tall and quite big so I could end up at heavyweight.
“But there is a lot of hard work to do before then, but the club is buzzing that I’ve won and I hope it inspires the other lads in the gym.”
Cope is trained by former professional boxer and Bad Boyz Gym head coach Errol McDonald, and he was full of praise for his young prospect and admires his work ethic.
“He’s a quiet lad, but he’s very dedicated and works so hard in the gym,” he said.
“There are lads at his age going out and stuff like that, but he turns round and says ‘no, I am going to the gym to train or I am going for a run’.
“I think he has a great career ahead of him and as long as he focuses and continues to pour his dedication into the sport, he can go as far as he wants.
“The club is delighted with the win and hopefully others will see what CJ has achieved and want a taste of it too.”