No Mickey O’Rourke as Hartlepool boxer Peter Cope gets to face Paul Hyland Jnr

Neil Fannan takes Peter Cope on the pads. Picture by STUART NORTON.
Neil Fannan takes Peter Cope on the pads. Picture by STUART NORTON.

Peter Cope has been handed new – and better – opposition for his big fight night in London.

The Hartlepool boxer had been due to take on unbeaten capital prospect, Mickey O’Rourke, a week on Friday at the York Hall.

However, the Londoner with the film star name has been replaced by an impressive fighting name and a longer undefeated record.

Cope will now tackle Belfast’s Paul Hyland Jnr, who has won all 14 of his professional fights, including five inside the distance.

It looks a tough call for the Neil Fannan-trained southpaw but the coach is relishing the match in the Eastend.

Cope has won 14 of his 17 contests, the only blemishes on his record being at title level.

Fannan told SportMail: “It’s a great fight.

“Hyland is an unbeaten boxer, but I’m not sure how good he is - we’ll get to see that next week.

“His record looks decent, he’s stopped five including last time against a lad who’d won all seven of his bouts.

“I’m looking forward to it, it’s a good challenge.”

Fannan is quietly confident having seen Cope perform well in sparring against a variety of partners.

He has done eight rounds with Manchester’s former British and Commonwealth title challenger, Joe Murray, plus sessions with unbeaten Northern Area champ Lewis Ritson and another undefeated fighter, Henry Thomas.

“Thomas is a bit of a handful but Peter looked good,” said Fannan.

“The same with Murray, he looked nice through the eight rounds.

“I took him to spar Lewis and there was nothing in it.

“When you watch that you think ‘if Lewis Ritson can do it them so can Peter Cope’.

“I’ve had him on the pads and he looks a million dollars.”