Horden, Hartlepool fighter Anth Hardy faces champion Darren Surtees at Stadium of Light

Boxer Anth Hardy working out in the gym with coach Peter Cope. Picture by FRANK REID
Boxer Anth Hardy working out in the gym with coach Peter Cope. Picture by FRANK REID

Title hopeful Anth Hardy‘s boxing team are geared up for an intriguing Northern Area Championship showdown.

The gifted Hartlepool and Horden boxer will challenge for the belt of East Durham neighbour, friend and now rival, Darren Surtees, on the Summer Rumble on Sunday, July 14.

Surtees is a fighter on the rise, we know that, and he can certainly hit

PETER COPE

Sunderland’s Stadium of Light will be the venue for the annual outdoor spectacular which only heightens the excitement, according to Hardy’s trainer, Peter Cope.

“What a great fight and opportunity,” said the Gus Robinson Developments head coach.

“Anth and Darren have sparred quite a bit so they know each other inside out.

“I like Darren, he’s a nice kid, the two lads get on very well too and I’m friends with his coach, Dave Binns, so there will be no edge to the fight at all.

“It has the makings of a very good fight.

“Surtees is a fighter on the rise, we know that, and he can certainly hit.

“Darren has youth on his side, although Anth’s hardly old at 25, but we feel we have the edge on experience.

“Anth has boxed at that little bit of a higher level but, for me, this is a very close bout, probably a 50-50 job.”

Surtees, from Thornley, has a magnificent seven wins on his record, five coming inside the distance, including a sixth-round stoppage over Ross Jameson when he won the vacant title at Houghton last month.

Hardy has taken nine victories with his sole two defeats occurring at title level.

“We certainly won’t be taking it lightly,” said Cope.

“It’s definitely a proper Northern Area title fight, between the best two light-welters from up here, though you’d have to put Jeff Saunders in that bracket.

“Darren can punch and he really goes for it in fights, but that might leave an opening for Anth.

“Anth hits harder than his record would suggest.

“I’m not saying Anth is going to beat him or do this or that – but I know it’s going to be some fight.

“The Stadium of Light is a really good venue and the show is looking a very attractive one.”

Surtees v Hardy would be worthy of the top of the bill slot for the Sunday afternoon event.

But the honour of the headline act goes to Darren’s East Durham College stablemate, Glenn Foot, who will defend his English light-welterweight against unbeaten Gloucester fighter Akeem Brown.

Promoter Phil Jeffries is anticipating over 10 contests on the bill.

For tickets, call Peter on 07815991247.