Commonwealth eliminator for Hartlepool fighter Peter Cope

Peter Cope drives in a left to the head of Lee Connelly in his win at the Summer Rumble in July. Picture: Tom Banks
Peter Cope drives in a left to the head of Lee Connelly in his win at the Summer Rumble in July. Picture: Tom Banks

Peter Cope has been handed a major title opening after agreeing to fight old foe Andy Townend.

The Hartlepool star will take on the Yorkshire KO specialist in a Commonwealth lightweight championship eliminator in Doncaster on Saturday, November 25.

Cope will be going into Townend’s backward for the second time, having been stopped inside four rounds at the Doncaster Dome by the Barnsley puncher in November 2014.

That defeat came at super-feather but the two boxers are both now up at lightweight and Cope’s trainer, Neil Fannan, is excited at the challenge.

The challenge was put out by Townend’s manager and promoter, Stefy Bull, with Team Cope duly throwing their hats in the square ring.

“There was a chance for Peter to box [Olympian] Joe Cordina,” said Fannan. “But that was six rounds.

“This has something at the end of it and it’s over 10 rounds and Peter is more of a 10-round fighter .

“I believe this is the best fight for Peter – it’s a long way away, but we’re looking forward to it already.

“It’s rare to get a fight so early, but it’s great to have such notice and there can be no excuses!

“We are very excited – I love being the underdog and that suits Peter.

“I think a boxer fights better when there is a fear factor there and that’s what this bout has and that will bring out the best in Peter.”

The words fear factor are apt – Townend has 19 career wins, 13 of them coming inside the distance.

His most recent was a two-round demolition of Jon Kays for the vacant Commonwealth super-featherweight title in May.#

Unfortunately, Townend came in above the weight limit, so the belt was not on the line for him.

His defeat at the scales, rather than inside the ropes, has prompted him to love up to lightweight.

Fannan is full of admiration for Townend.

“He’s not going to fight at super-feather again,” said Fannan. “He’s a game, game man, a lad with real self-belief, a never-say-die fighter right to the final bell.

“Everyone who gets into a ring with him is in for a fight.

“But Peter has what it takes.”

Cope is just four victories behind the English champion, the Netting Services Limited-sponsored southpaw boasting 15 wins, his four losses all coming at title standard.