Peter Cope says can afford “no mistakes” when he defends his Northern Area lightweight title tomorrow.
The Hartlepool boxer tops the Summer Rumble bill at the Stadium of Light in a 10-round re-match with John Green.
If I am going to move on to English title contention I can have no mistakes herePeter Cope
Cope defeated his Middlesbrough rival at South Shields last October and needs to impress tomorrow in Sunderland if he is to get a shot at the English championship.
The Gus Robinson Developments team have already written to boxing bosses asking to be nominated for the national crown.
But defeat tomorrow would ruin any such plans.
“I want and need to move on after this fight,” said the 24-year-old.
“That’s no disrespect to John or this title.
“I always said I wanted to be a Northern Area champion - the first fight I ever went to was when I saw John Kelly beat Andy Green.
“I don’t want to fight at Area level, I want to be in the standard above.
“I have already shown I can compete at English level and now I want to do that at lightweight.
“My two defeats came at super-feather but I’m happy at lightweight, it’s made a massive difference.
“I feel strong at this weight as I think I proved in my last fight at the Borough Hall.
“But I know this is a must-win fight for me at the Summer Rumble.
“If I am going to move on to English title contention, I can have no mistakes here.”
Green and his coach, Paul Hamilton, have vowed the Boro boxer comes to the ring a “better” fighter than their original clash.
The 26-year-old’s camp admitted he was a little negative at Temple Park, but will be ready to fight tomorrow.
And Hamilton told SportMail he was delighted they were granted a re-match.
“I have great respect for Peter - he doesn’t have to fight John,” said the Darlington coach.
“He’s beaten him once and is entitled to move on.
“Peter could go and fight elsewhere, but to get get back in the ring again here, I give him top marks.
“We’re not going to go for the spoiling tactics from the first bout, I believe this will be a cracking fight.”
It promises to be a belting atmosphere with Green set to be well supported.
The Cope ‘Barmy Army’ is also likely to be there in force.
“I’ve boxed at the Summer Rumble before and the fans seem to love it,” added Cope. “The weather’s always good and the atmosphere too.
“I’m looking to put on a performance they deserve and the show deserves.”
There are still tickets available and there will also be transport from Hartlepool. Contact Peter on 07815 991247 for details