HARTLEPOOL boxing’s Barmy Army is ready to rumble.
But the troops are not mobilising for Peter Cope this time – instead it’s big brother Daniel’s turn.
The 24-year-old is to fight Tom Whitfield in the battle of the North-East’s unbeaten welterweights at Houghton next month.
Both boxers have won two out of two as professionals and something is going to have to give on Sunday, March 7.
Dynamite Daniel looks to be guaranteed good support for his derby, which is one of 15 bouts on a bill which has been given the title “Collossal”.
Dad and Gus Robinson Developments head coach Peter Cope says excitement is building ahead of the six-rounder against the 28-year-old, who is part of the Mal Gates camp in South Shields.
“It has the makings of a fantastic fight,” said Cope Snr.
“Daniel and Tom have sparred before and we all think a lot of Tom in our gym, he’s a proper nice lad and a good boxer.
“There is no animosity at all between the lads or the gyms, I count Mal as a mate of mine.
“But it’s going to be a great fight and Daniel will have to be at his best.
“After he’d sparred with [new signing] Liam Cammock I thought Daniel did not look good at all.
“The two fights he’s had so far, on paper, he should be winning, but to beat Tom he’s going to have to raise his game.
“He appreciates that and while he’s always a good trainer, he needed to up it mentally more than anything else and he has responded.
“This is a genuine 50-50 fight and a step up. Tom is the best he’s faced so far and it’s over six rounds and not four.
“But I’ve got to say Daniel’s looking really good and I don’t think the rounds will be an issue, he’s super-fit.
“With having Liam on the show as well, there is a real buzz about the place.
“Tickets are moving nicely and we’re really looking forward to it.
“We’re hoping to have a good following for Daniel.
“The support for Peter and Daniel has always been excellent, no matter where the bout is.”
Promoter Phil Jeffries has praised both boxers for taking the showdown on.
“They are both prepared to put their unbeaten records on the line and not many do that,” he said.
“It was a very easy fight to make and it’s a great match.
“I love derbies – I think North-East derbies are better than title fights because there is so much pride at stake.”
FOR ticket info, call Peter on 07815991247.