PETER Cope is within sight of another English title shot – providing he beats Andy Townend in a fortnight.
The British Boxing Board of Control has granted this exciting super-featherweight showdown in Doncaster eliminator status.
It means victory would earn the Hartlepool fighter a second crack at Mitchell Smith – or for the vacant belt should the gifted Londoner move up to British Championship level or beyond.
Cope won the Northern Area lightweight crown last time out when he outpointed Middlesbrough’s John Green at South Shields last month.
But the Gus Robinson Developments boxer has slimmed back down to 9st 4lbs to pursue his super feather ambitions.
Coach and dad, also called Peter, said the West View Road camp are up for the clash with hard-hitting Wakefield fighter Townend.
“When we agreed the match, the promoter said he was hopeful it would be an English title eliminator,” said Cope Snr.
“Now we’ve been told it is – it’s great news.
“It was always looking like a cracking fight but now it takes on that extra edge.
“Should Peter win then he’s back to where he was in the summer – having a crack at the English championship.
“If, but hopefully when, Peter beats Townend then he is back in the mix, possibly with another go at Smith.
“He’s come back very well and with great focus since the Smith defeat and I think he’s in a good position going into this.”
The Gus Robinson Developments camp have taken something of a calculated risk with this contest.
Townend will have home advantage on his side and the Barnsley carries plenty of power – he is not known as “the KO Kid” for nothing.
The 25-year-old has won nine times with six coming inside the distance, including both his Central Area super-featherweight title triumphs.
In comparison, Cope has 10 victories on his fight log, all via points.
“We could have had a six-rounder up here,” said Cope Snr. “There are two shows in the North-East on the same weekend as the Doncaster show.
“But Peter does not mind being in the away corner.
“He’s got guts – he wants fights and wants to box for titles and he’s happy to take this one on.
“Andy is a good fighter, we’ve seen him at close quarters.
“When we were building up for the Smith fight we went down to Yorkshire to do some sparring and Peter’s done some rounds with Andy.
“I think Peter did OK but it’s very hard to make any judgements based on sparring – we were getting ready for a fight and Andy wasn’t and was probably over 10 stone at the time.
“But Peter did say that he could feel Andy’s punches.
“Judging by his record, he carries that same power when he goes down a weight.
“We fully respect him and we’re expecting a very hard fight.
“This is a proper opporunity for Peter – Andy is going to be hard to beat but that’s the challenge in front of us.”
For tickets, call Peter on 07815991247