Hartlepool boxer Daniel Cope loses Northern Area title to arch-rival Billy Snaith

Team Hardy, coach Alan Temple (left), Hardy and head coach, Peter Cope (right) celebrate victory.
Team Hardy, coach Alan Temple (left), Hardy and head coach, Peter Cope (right) celebrate victory.

Daniel Cope's reign as Northern Area welterweight champion is over after he lost his grudge match to Billy Snaith.

The 26-year-old was outpointed by his former Gus Robinson Developments team-mate at Sedgefield, where he was making the maiden defence of his belt.

Daniel Cope throws a left against Billy Snaith. Picture by TOM COLLINS

Daniel Cope throws a left against Billy Snaith. Picture by TOM COLLINS

Cope never got out of first gear with Snaith clinching a 98-93 scoreline from referee Kenny Pringle.

The build-up to the fight had been soured with a great deal of animosity between the pair but on the night Snaith kept a lid on his emotions and produced an excellent victory at a packed Hardwick Hall.

Snaith got off to the sharper start and landed the cleaner scoring shots to lead to establish a clear lead at the halfway point.

Cope began the sixth and seventh rounds well but could not sustain it and when he started to push the Ferryhill boxer back in the eighth there mist have been hopes of a repeat of the round eight stoppage which won him the title in October.

But he could not build on it and the last two rounds were both scrappy affairs and Snaith ended a deserved winner, extending his 100% run to five contests.

Snaith's triumph completed a superb night's work for his coach, Jeff Saunders Snr.

The Fishburn coach enjoyed a title double after his son, Jeff Jnr, knocked out Chris Truman in the fifth round of their Challenge Belt bout.

Jeff, the unbeaten younger brother of 2008 Olympian Bradley, had peppered the head of the Birmingham boxer, who refused to buckle.

However, it was a sweet left to the body which felled Truman and the game challenger failed to beat referee Graeme Williams' count at one minute, 47 seconds.

Elsewhere, Horden and Hartlepool boxer, Anth Hardy, made a successful return to the ring.

Hardy, who celebrated his 25th birthday this week, outpointed Andrej Cepur after four impressive rounds.

The southpaw felled the Lithuanian in the first and boxed slickly for the remainder of the contest to clinch a 40-35 scoreline from Mr Pringle.