Peter Cope hopes his work with two world championship boxers will rub off when he makes his first appearance of 2016.
The Hartlepool fighter takes on Barnsley prospect Brad Botham at Darlington on Friday, May 13 over eight rounds.
It’s been great preparation for me, not just the sparring but just watching them, how they go about things, how they trainPeter Cope
Cope has been sparring top-line British stars Stephen Smith and Anthony Crolla ahead of their world championship bouts.
Liverpool star Smith failed in his bid when he lost a unanimous points decision to defending champion Jose Pedraza in their IBF super-featherweight bout in America last weekend.
Crolla defends his WBA world lightweight belt against Ismael Barroso in Manchester on Saturday, May 7.
Cope will be willing the Manchester hero to victory, five days before his own key fight against Botham at the Dolphin Centre.
“I went to Bolton to spar with Stephen ahead of his world title fight,” said the 24-year-old.
“I was down there three times a week and, as you’d expect, the sparring was top quality.
“I loved it and when I was there they asked would I spar with Anthony because he’s fighting a southpaw in Manchester.
“It went that well I was asked back!
“I hoped I helped those lads and it’s been great preparation for me, not just the sparring but just watching them, how they go about things, how they train.”
Working with Smith and Crolla at Joe Gallagher’s gym in Bolton has put a spring in the step of the Gus Robinson Developments boxer.
He hopes that enthusiasm, allied to his skill, will bring him victory against Botham
“I’m enjoying my boxing,” said the Netting Services Ltd-sponsored southpaw.
“That’s down to my employer and sponsor, Kevin Lloyd.
“Kevin’s given me the time off to train and being able to train full time has been brilliant.
“I feel good and I’m hoping to take what I’ve been doing in my training camp into this fight with Botham.
“He’s a tough, give-it-a-go lad, it should be a good fight and I’m hoping it will get things moving for me.”