PETER Cope’s English super-featherweight ambitions suffered a major set-back when he was stopped inside four rounds by Andy Townend in Doncaster.
The Hartlepool fighter was put down twice by the dangerous Yorkshireman in the fourth round.
On both occasions, Cope was up by the count of eight.
But after the second count, referee Mark Lyson took a look at Cope and waved the fight off after one minute 59 seconds.
It was a brutal and clinical finish by the Barnsley and Wakefield fighter who has now won seven of his 10 wins via stoppage.
The battle between two of the country’s most promising super-featherweights promised to be a classic and the four rounds certainly did not short-change the capacity crowd.
Round one was the quietest session, with the boxers showing each other great respect, Cope possibly just shading it on shots landed.
Townend’s jab was finding Cope’s head at the start of round two but the Gus Robinson Developments boxer did the better work in the second, landing some good scoring shots even though the home fighter did get through with a couple of good rights.
Cope made a decent start to the third round but Townend was looking to step up his assault and began to grow in authority.
And that was borne out early in the fourth when a right put Cope down. The 23-year-old took his time and was on his feet by the time Mr Lyson had reached eight.
Cope, to his credit, came back well, but after trading with the Tyke a short right floored him near the blue corner.
Again, Cope was up by eight but after taking a look at the southpaw, the Liverpool official called it off.
It was only the second defeat of Cope’s career and the first stoppage loss.