PETER Cope is getting closer to fighting for championship honours.
The unbeaten Hartlepool boxerhas been lined up for an English super-featherweight title eliminator – if it gets sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control.
Cope has been matched with former Southern Area belt holder Ian Bailey, with the 10-rounder due to go ahead on the undercard of the English lightweight shoot-out between Kirk Goodings and Gary Fox on Friday, March 7 at Houghton-le-Spring.
The show had been scheduled for Saturday, March 1, but has been put back six days to avoid clashing with the Capital One Cup final, which features Sunderland’s return to Wembley.
Cope (above) has reeled off nine straight wins, the most recent success being his best, a six-round points verdict over former British, Commonwealth, European and World title challenger, Sean “Short Fuse” Hughes in December.
The BBBC are believed to be satisfied with the credentials of the Gus Robinson Developments star, but must debate the contest at their monthly meeting in Cardiff this week.
Cope’s coach – and dad – Peter Snr says he is excited by the prospect of a title eliminator but is not counting any chickens just yet.
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“Promoter Mark Clauzel is desperate for Peter to fight for the English belt,” said Cope Snr.
“It’s been difficult for him to find a suitable opponent and to agree terms.
“But, everything has been agreed with Bailey and his people, now it is down to the Board.
“On paper, Bailey is a featherweight rather than a super-feather.
“But he has won the Southern Area title and fought for the English title so we believe he is a credible opponent.
“It’s not a straight title fight, it’s an eliminator and we hope the Board will approve it.”
Bailey has won nine of his 24 bouts and at the age of 29 is seven years Cope’s senior.
But the Gus Robinson Developments southpaw is ready for the step up to championship level.
“After the way he sparred for the Hughes fight, I knew he would perform well against Sean,” said Cope Snr.
“He showed everyone that night what he was capable of producing and he is ready to move forward again.
“We’re not getting carried away just yet - the Board have to discuss it first and then give it the go-ahead.
“But Peter is moving in the right direction and this would give him the chance to really get in the mix.”
Neighbour, Mick Hadfield, the undefeated former Headland ABC star will also be appearing on the March 7 show at Rainton Meadows, along with fellow Hartlepool boxer Tommy Ard, another fighter with a 100 per cent record.