PETER Cope Jnr has made a bright start to life as a professional boxer – the big surprise would have been if he hadn’t.
The 20-year-old, a national junior champ in his days as an amateur, will make his second pro appearance in Sunderland this weekend.
Cope will fight Nottinghamshire-based Latvian Pavel Senkovs on the undercard of David Dolan v Jon Lewis Dickinson at the Stadium of Light.
The gifted super-bantamweight is the son of the head coach at the Gus Robinson boxing gym.
His dad, also called Peter, has been associated with the sport for the best part of three decades – briefly as a boxer himself but principally as a coach.
Cope senior trained Hartlepool’s first three ABA Champions, Alan Temple, Michael Hunter and Ian Cooper, before spending the last dozen years as coach at the Robinson HQ.
He has guided the careers of Temple and Nigel Wright but now is in the corner of Peter, one of four boxing brothers.
And manager Robinson spoke of his pride that one of his gym’s products will be fighting on the big Summer Rumble bill at Sunderland’s stadium.
“Going back a number of years it would have been nice to have signed a few other local boxers,” said the boxing boss.
“When that didn’t happen I just said to old Peter, who I rate very highly, just relax, we’ll take our time and signings will come.
“And one has – from his own family!
“Young Peter has already won his first pro fight and won it comfortably.
“I’ve already said to him that he’s an exceedingly talented young man from a very gifted family.
“His mam is one of the most talented, hard-working people I’ve ever met.
“And his dad must be one of the best [coaches] in the business.
“Old Peter’s been in the sport, both amateur and then professional, for such a long time.
“He’s worked with a lot of talented people.
“So young Peter not only has the benefit of working with his father, but working with a great coach!
“He’s got a stack of talent but the fantastic thing about young Peter is that he’s got a tremendous work ethic.
“That’s good because I’ve already pointed out to him that the world is already littered with very good people who haven’t quite made it because they have not put the required amount of work in.
“This young lad is putting the work in.”
Full story in Thursday’s Mail