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Cook praises dad for masterminding world title win

PUBLISHED: 11:33 11 September 2008 | UPDATED: 13:36 05 October 2010

By LEN WHALEY NICKY COOK paid tribute to his father Paul for hatching the plan that enabled the Stepney-born fighter to overcome Alex Arthur and lift the WBO world super featherweight title at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night. It was the li

By LEN WHALEY

NICKY COOK paid tribute to his father Paul for hatching the plan that enabled the Stepney-born fighter to overcome Alex Arthur and lift the WBO world super featherweight title at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Saturday night.

It was the lifetime partnership of a local family with boxing in their blood that set up the night of success for the 28-year-old Cook.

While father Paul never won a pro title during his own career as a hard-hitting Bethnal Green lightweight in the 1980s, he has proved a world champion trainer and played a key role in his son's success.

"Me and dad worked out a great gameplan to beat Arthur and it went like a dream," said Cook.

"We knew if we did it for 12 rounds non-stop, we would walk away with the belt.

"It was educated boxing, not flying around the ring. I was just keeping him at arm's length and letting the punches go - it worked a treat."

Cook frustrated the Edinburgh fighter with effective long-range attacks and was the busier boxer all through the 12-round contest.

He stamped his class on the contest from the start, working off an effective jab with follow-up rights which repeatedly found their way through the champion's defences.

There were brief moments of threat from the champion - he landed a solid shot near the end of the seventh round and Cook slipped to the floor in the ninth - but they were rare moments of excitement for the Scottish fans.

Cook stayed on top and concerns that Arthur would use his strength to pile on the pressure in the latter stages did not materialise.

Despite the pleas of trainer Wayne McCullough, Arthur seemed resigned to losing his title in the final rounds and when the bell sounded for the finish, he appeared to accept that he had been beaten.

He later he had insisted he had done enough to win, despite the fact that a stable of Scots at ringside - including former world champion Jim Watt - had made Cook a clear winner.

The only shock when the unanimous verdict was announced was the fact that one judge has scored Cook only a single point winner, with a score of 115-114.

The two remaining judges scored a more sensible 117-111 and 117-112 for the winner - the East End's new world champion.

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