Daniel Cope will not suffer any Northern Area title hangover when he returns to the ring for his first fight in 2016.
The Hartlepool fighter takes on Arvydas Trizno over six rounds in Gateshead tomorrow night.
Cope had been due to tackle old rival Tom Whitfield for the vacant Northern Area welterweight belt at Dunston’s Lancastrian Suite but the unbeaten South Shields boxer, who defeated Cope over six rounds in Houghton 12 months ago, suffered a broken jaw in sparring.
Cope said: “When the fight with Tom fell through, I was really disappointed for a couple of days. But I was soon focused on this fight.
“I’ve had a great training camp, done loads of sparring and feel really fit.
“We had to ease off a little because we started early with the Northern Area fight being 10 rounds.
“Given the shape I’m in, I should fly through the rounds.
“I just want to get in and put in a good performance and take what I’ve done in training into the ring.”
Trizno, 27, arrives in the North-East with 20 wins from 74 fights, but is on the back of a stoppage win in his native Lithuania in January.
He fought at the Borough Hall last year, losing to Sunderland’s Isaac Macleod.
“I’ve seen bits of him before,” said Cope, 25. “Trizno comes to fight, he doesn’t run away so I expect it will be a decent bout.”
Cope is part of a Gus Robinson Developments v Lithuania double bill at the Gateshead venue. Team-mate Billy Snaith makes his second pro appearance when he faces Andrej Cepur over four rounds.
“Billy’s looked really good in the gym,” said Cope. “I’m expecting a good performance.”
For tickets, contact 07815991247