ANTH Hardy has been handed a new opponent at Summer Rumble 4.
The Hartlepool and Horden boxer had been due to face Sandor Horvath on Sunday at the Stadium of Light.
It was due to be Hardy’s biggest test yet in a professional career which was launched in the very same ring 12 months ago.
But the battle with the 20-year-old, from Hungary, is now off.
The replacement opponent has an exotic name though is not from Budapest, but Barnsley.
Jamie Zaszlos will be in the opposite corner and the undefeated Gus Robinson Developments ace is “gutted” not to be fighting Horvath.
The 31-year-old has not won since triumphing on his debut – a sequence of 10 defeats.
“I don’t want to box journeymen,” Hardy told SportMail.
“I want boxers who want to come to fight.
“But I’m told no-one will fight me at light-welterweight.
“In one sense it’s a bit of a compliment that people won’t fight me, but I’d rather be in there with people who are going to make me a better boxer.
“But it’s Zaszlos and not Horvath and it should be a formality.
“It’s up to me to go out and perform as my coach wants me to.”
And that will be at the same level as his last display, a four-round masterclass against Ibrar Riyaz in May.
His southpaw jab and right-left combinations dominated the bout at Gateshead Leisure Centre.
“I was over the moon with how I boxed,” he explained. “The only disappointing thing was that I was unable to stop him.
“Riyaz never gets stopped but I thought I was getting close – I was sure I was hurting him with some of the lefts I was landing but he somehow kept on his feet.
“If a stoppage comes this time I’ll be happy but I’ve just got to look to box well first.”
Hardy is part of a Gus Robinson Developments double at Sunderland’s football ground.
Daniel Cope will make his debut when he tackles Catterick’s Andy Collins in a North-East derby.
Hardy and Cope turned pro at the same time in May 2013, but “Dynamite” has had top keep his powder dry while awaiting laser eye surgery.
The 24-year-old has now passed his medical and the British Boxing Board of Control have give him the green light to fight.
“I’m so happy for him,” said Hardy, who has boxed four times in the intervening period. “He’s looking very sharp.
“At one time I’d get the better of him in sparring but not any more.
“He’s really come on a ton and I think he’ll do well.”
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