PETER Cope’s road to boxing’s top echelons has only suffered a delay and not hit a dead end.
That was the view of coach and dad Peter Cope Snr following another set-back for his unbeaten boxer and son.
The Gus Robinson Developments camp had been hoping today to be basking in the success of another title.
Cope Jnr was last night supposed to be challenging for the British Masters super-featherweight belt against Slough’s Ian Bailey at Houghton-le-Spring.
But the show was scrapped on Tuesday - promoter Phil Jeffries pulling the plug after he was left with only five fights following some withdrawals.
And while the main event, Kirk Goodings v Gary Fox, will be switched to the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, March 29, there’s no such plan in place for Cope’s bout.
Cope v Bailey may not have been high-profile stuff, but it represented a chance for the 22-year-old to advance his career with a win against a boxer who is a Southern Area champ and had challenged for the English title.
“It’s very upsetting for Peter,” Cope Snr told SportMail.
“He was due to fight for the Northern Area title last year in Newcastle which would have moved him forward.
“But Dougie Curran pulled out with a bad back and that contest never came off.
“And now this.
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“You think you’ve got everything right, the training, preparation and weight and then you are hit with this.
“Peter was looking absolutely fantastic, probably the best I’ve ever seen him.
“I’ve been really impressed with him the last four or five months and I was confident he was going to do well against Bailey.
“Of course there is a lot of frustration after doing all that training and losing all that weight but, unfortunately, that’s boxing.
“But the bottom line is that Peter is still only 22.
“More opportunities will come and he is going in the right direction. We’re still hopeful 2014 is going to be a big year.”
Cope may have to wait until May for his next outing when Mark Clauzel, the North-East’s newest promoter, stages his second promotion.
“Mark believes in Peter and has big plans for him,” said Peter Snr.
“It’s been a shame for Peter and his supporters what’s happened this week, but he’ll be back.”