Hartlepool’s Peter Cope boxes to order for win

Peter Cope celebrates his win against Fonz Alexander
Peter Cope celebrates his win against Fonz Alexander
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Peter Cope was challenged by his new coach to win by boxing instead of going out to please the crowd.

And the Hartlepool boxer passed the test for Neil Fannan on the undercard of the title double header at Houghton.

I told Peter he would have an easy night if he went out to box him and that’s what happened.

Cope registered his 14th career victory, but his first for Fannan, on Saturday night when he outpointed rugged opponent Fonz Alexander.

The Newark fighter, making his 50th appearance, has a poor record but he is no pushover and he provided a decent test for the 25-year-old southpaw.

Cope used his jab of his good effect, his right glove never leaving the head of the 28-year-old.

A right hook in the away red corner seemed to jolt Alexander in the second and there were some neat combinations as well from the former Gus Robinson Developments star.

Fonz was more competitive in the last but Cope was soon back in his stride for a 40-36 scoreline from referee Graeme Williams.

“Peter boxed to orders and I was well pleased,” said Fannan. “Fonz had done six rounds with Jeff Saunders last week at Darlington and the officials at that show had said to Peter ‘you could be in for a tough night’.

“I told Peter he would have an easy night if he went out to box him and that’s what happened.

“I said ‘don’t be going out to try to injure him or stop him, just outpoint him’ and he did that.”

Cope’s success followed on from a dominant four rounds from stablemate Gary Fox.

The 31-year-old’s game is based on aggression and pressure and both attributs were in good working order aginst Manchester’s Will O’Reilly.

Fox, boxing for only the fourth time in three years, shook off any rust by controlling the contest from the start.

The third round was the best session for the Fishburn crowd favourite with some good lefts to the head and body.

Fox says he will be back in the gym this week and carry on the fine work as he looks for a return to the title picture in 2017.

Fannan said: “Foxy looked good and I want to see more of that from him.”