New Horden & Hartlepool boxer Anth Hardy spars with world champion Savannah Marshall

BOXING CLEVER: Savannah Marshall and Anth Hardy

BOXING CLEVER: Savannah Marshall and Anth Hardy

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NEW professional Anth Hardy has warmed up for his debut by sparring a world champion.

The welterweight, who has signed for Gus Robinson Developments, shared the ring last night for five rounds with Hartlepool superstar Savannah Marshall.

Hardy is building up to his first pro bout on the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, July 7.

Britain’s first female world title holder was in the Gus Robinson gym with her Headland team-mate, Mick Hadfield, who sparred with unbeaten featherweight Peter Cope, who too is in action at the big Sunderland open-air show.

Hardy has been matched with Tamworth’s Matt Seawright, a tough customer who has the reputation for going the distance.

Seawright’s overall record is not a good one but he has won two of his last four contests, including his most recent trip to the North-East when he defeated new pro Karl Ferguson in Newcastle.

And Hardy, a neat and clever southpaw, feels it is a good bout to begin his career with.

“Seawright is a little scrapper,” he told SportMail.

“I’ve watched him on You Tube and he tries to rough you up and spoil.

“I’ll be looking to stay on my jab, keep it clean and outbox him.

“I want to keep it long for four rounds, use my skill and that should be good enough to get me the win.”

Five rounds with a boxer of Marshall’s calibre will certainly stand Hardy in good stead.

“I think I sparred with Savannah when I was about 13,” said the 21-year-old. “She’s done very well for herself and it was nice she came down to spar with me.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story