PETER Cope will respect Andy Townend’s power rather than fear it when he steps into the ring with the Yorkshire dangerman.
Two of the country’s most promising super-featherweights collide in Doncaster tomorrow in an English title elimimator.
It promises to be a classic between two area champions of similar experience, age, wins and rounds boxed.
Cope is 23 and Townend 25, the Hartlepool boxer boasting 10 wins, one more than his rival, with the Barnsley boxer clocking up 63 rounds, just five fewer than the man he faces at Doncaster Dome.
But the statistics differ wildly when it comes to stoppages.
Six of Townend’s nine wins have come inside the distance, while all 10 of Cope’s victories have been on points.
Cope stayed on his feet when the pair sparred earlier this year, though the Gus Robinson Developments star is not reading too much into those six rounds with the man known as “The KO Kid”.
“Is he a big puncher?” said Cope. “I didn’t think that from our spar.
“But I was training to fight Mitchell Smith and he wasn’t getting ready for a bout so Andy wasn’t in the condition he is now.
“I’m not sure how much I should take that sparring into account.
“But look at his record – 70 per-cent of his wins are by knock-out.
“So you can’t say that he doesn’t have power.
“He’s obviously good but I believe I can outbox him and outfight him.
“People think I am not strong, but I can stand and fight.
“OK, I’m not a KO artist, but I am happy to fight.
“I think we’re evenly matched and I’m really looking forward to it, as much if not more than any I’ve had.
“He’s good and he’s a puncher but he is not unbeatable.”
Townend can dig, highlighted by the fact that his two Central Area title triumphs this year have both been inside the distance.
The Wakefield-born boxer is also on familiar ground, incredibly all 12 of his bouts have been at the Doncaster Dome, surely taking home advantage to new limits?
“He is at home,” smiled Cope. “But I feel fit and I’m confident.”
Cope is in fine fettle, having recently won the Northern Area lightweight title with a points win over John Green at South Shields.
It was a fine response to his first pro set-back – a points loss to Smith for the vacant English belt in London.
“I do feel good,” he said. “I’ve not had a bad year.
“I challenged a very boxer for the English title and enjoyed the experience if not the result and then won the Northern Area.”
l FOR tickets, call Peter on 07815991247