NEW Hartlepool boxing pro Callum Winton will face Steve Martin on his debut but the Gus Robinson Developments team say it will be no laughing matter.
Head coach Peter Cope told SportMail that the Hitman “could have his hands full” with the 25-year-old from Malta at the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of LIght.
Martin has won only one of his five pro contests but is a dangerous opponent as he proved on his last visit to the North-East.
The Mediterrean Islander gave gifted Middlesbrough talent Shafiq Asif all sorts of problems in their lightweight contest at Houghton-le-Spring last month.
Asif, known as Chubzy, clinched the win in the end but only after Martin retired at the end of round three with an eye problem.
“I have worked in Steve’s corner before so I know what he can do,” Cope said.
“He was boxing one night in Yorkshire and had no trainer so I was happy to look after him.
“I asked if Steve could be Callum’s opponent on July 15, not because I was looking for a guaranteed win – far from it.
“I wanted a good fighter and hard lad and Steve falls in to that category.
“I know how hard Callum hits – if he hits anyone hard in the first round there is every chance they could fold.
“Callum’s got exceptional power but I don’t want him in with someone he is just going to bowl over.
“I want him to get a few rounds under his belt, get some experience and have a chance to show his brilliant talent.
“Steve’s a good kid – he won’t fold, so it’s going to be a good fight for him.
“If Callum is all right on the day then I think he’ll do OK – if he isn’t then he could have his hands full.”
SEE Friday’s Hartlepool Mail for full story