Following his decision win against the Filipino, Jackson sat down with Australian Boxing Central to go over his performance, and discuss plans for the future.
You fought your way to a unanimous decision victory, in an important win for your career. You’re the new WBO Oriental Featherweight champion. Still undefeated, 13-0, and you finish 2016 with three straight wins. How tough an opponent was Lopez, and what did you have to do to well in this fight to get your hand raised?
Jackson: "First and foremost, the training camp paid dividends in the fight. It was a bloody hard fight. He’s very experienced, he mixed it up a lot, and I never knew what he was going to do, he kept me on edge. He’s very experienced. I listened to my coach Billy Hussein, and we got the win. Another tough test and we got the job done."
Lopez put together 19 wins before getting his world title shot. How satisfying is it to beat an opponent that was good enough to earn a world title shot, and to do it in front of a full house, in your hometown?
Jackson: "It’s always great fighting in front of my home crowd- because they always get behind me. 1,300 people screaming your name is a pretty good feeling. My team thought I was ready to fight a guy of his calibre. I knew I’d be ready, because of my extensive amateur career. I got hit a little too much for my liking, but it’s all learning."
How does it feel being able to put on a show for the fans in your home state, and how does it make you feel knowing that your fellow Tasmanian boxers get to fight professionally, at home, because of your cards?
Jackson: "It’s an amazing feeling. I never had that. I never had anyone to show me the way, and get it done. I had to do it myself. There was Geale, but I never got the opportunity. I would have loved that, but the opportunity never presented itself. I’m happy to give these guys the opportunity, it’s important for their growth to fight in front of crowds. To fight at the highest level, you have to get used to it."
Your promoter, Adam Wilcock, of Fightcard Promotions, and your manager, Mike Altamura, have got you on a path toward the top of the WBO Featherweight division. Do you see yourself campaigning at Featherweight for the foreseeable future, and with your improved WBO ranking in mind, what could the first half of 2017 look like for “Action Jackson” ?
Jackson: "I’ll be staying at Featherweight. I made weight really good this fight. I could make Super Bantamweight, but the deal would have to be right. We got offered (Scott) Quigg on the upcoming Anthony Joshua card, but it’s too soon after. The world is starting to know my name as a pro boxer. We have something big lined up for March. A good opponent in mind. Whether it comes to fruition, we have to wait and see. I know I’m a long way off fighting and beating Oscar Valdez. He’s a good fighter. I don’t just want to fight these guys, I want to beat them when I'm ready."
All articles featured on the Australian Boxing Central website are written by Tai Tuiniua, and all interviews are conducted by Mark Franklin, unless stated otherwise.