Remember Steve Robinson, the Cardiff storeman who stepped out of his overalls and into a world title fight at 48 hours’ notice? Well, the story continues. It’s Storeman 2 . . . sort of, as Owen Morgan has been finding out.
The son of a Welsh boxing world champion takes the next step towards his ambition of emulating his famous father when climbs into the ring at Neath this weekend.
Jacob Robinson, son of former European and world featherweight champion Steve Robinson, contests his fourth professional bout at the Llandarcy Sports Academy on Saturday night.
Robinson junior, or “Baby Jake” as he is known on the circuit, is due to fight a four-round contest against an opponent who has yet to be confirmed.
The bout is part of the “Young Guns” show put on by Mark “Mo” Prior and British Warriors Boxing Promotions, which promises a “night packed with explosive young boxing talent”.
And the 24-year-old has already proved he has dynamite in his fists having won two of his three fights by knockout.
His last bout, against Jules Phillips at the Vale Sports Arena, saw the young Robinson knock out the more experienced Londoner with a devastating right hook which sent his opponent crashing face first to the canvas.
Robinson Senior, who trains his son in their home city of Cardiff, is excited by his progress and potential.
“He’s known as a puncher but he’s a good boxer as well,” says the man who famously claimed the vacant WBO world featherweight title against John Davison at just two days notice while working as a storeman in Debenhams.
“He’s the same weight as I was, a featherweight, and we are a very similar size. He’s a bit different to me in style, there are some similarities, but he is a bit more of a boxer, where I was a bit more come forward.
“But with Jacob he’ll counter punch you, if you drop your hands you’re in danger. If he catches you clean . . . you’re out! He’s a harder puncher than I was.”
That’s some statement considering Robinson snr. memorably ended the fifth of his seven successful world title defences with one devastating body shot.
Robinson was facing three-weight world champion Duke McKenzie at a packed Cardiff Ice Rink in October, 1994, when he produced a perfectly timed left to the ribs which left McKenzie crumpled on the floor unable to continue.
Which makes Robinson the perfect person to comment on his son’s punching power, which was so evident in his fight against Phillips.
The proud dad said: “The last fight he had was a hell of a knockout, the way he threw that shot, it came from an angle, from underneath.
“He’s got that great one knockout-punch power, which I never had. I could knock you out to the body with one punch but he hits hard to the head.”
The young right-handed southpaw’s potential has also been spotted by the internationally renowned MTK Global boxing management company, adding him to a formidable stable of boxers which includes the likes of Tyson Fury and Carl Frampton, this summer.
On signing Robinson, MTK Global International Operations Director Paul Gibson said: “We’re delighted to have secured the signing of one of Wales’ brightest prospects in Jacob.
“The family history is well-documented – Jacob’s father Steve achieved extraordinary things and we’ve already seen flashes of potential suggesting Jacob will do the same.
“As we continue to expand in the boxing hotbed of Wales and look forward to putting on more shows there, signing a fighter of Jacob’s quality is another coup for us.”
Robinson says Saturday night’s four round bout will hopefully be a stepping stone to bigger things for his son.
“This is like a warm-up fight. It’s only a four rounder. I thought, let’s get him out, keep him busy, and then in the new year get a bigger fight.
“Hopefully, next year he’ll be fighting for the Welsh title. He boxes for MTK and they are going to put a show on in March and hopefully we can get him a Welsh title fight in Cardiff. It may be the Vale Sports Arena.
“He’s just turned 24, we’re trying to get a Welsh title fight, that’ll be over 10 rounds and then, after that, defend it a few times and go for a British title the year after. That’s our aim now.
“He’s a good prospect, he’s dedicated and he trains hard.”
Robinson shares his father’s initial goal of a Welsh title shot. “My first ambition is to be Welsh champion and that could be just a handful of fights away.
“After that, I’m going to set my sights on gaining experience and challenging for the British title in a few years’ time. I have youth on my side and if I work hard then I believe MTK Global can take me on this journey.
“It would be great to follow my dad’s footsteps. I’m a southpaw and I punch fast and hard with both hands. I love to counter-punch and the right hook is my favourite shot.”
Among the other names on Saturday night’s bill are Maerdy’s unbeaten middleweight Alex Hughes, Carmarthen lightweight Angelo Dragone, Ammanford middleweight Jake Anthony, and Rhoose lightweight Lance Cooksey.