Peter Cope-Paul Hyland Jnr: Hartlepool coach not fazed by London clash

Junior (fight) school: Peter Cope Jnr and Paiul Hyland Jnr

Junior (fight) school: Peter Cope Jnr and Paiul Hyland Jnr

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Neil Fannan insists he is not fazed about taking Hartlepool into the away corner in London tonight.

The coach is instead relishing the challenge of pitting Peter Cope against one of the bright crop of top-level prospects from Northern Ireland, Paul Hyland Jnr.

Cope starts the eight-round bout at the York Hall on the first night of Matchroom Boxing’s NXGEN Series on Sky Sports1 as the outsider.

Hyland, like Cope, has 14 wins to his credit, but there are no blemishes on the perfect fight log of the 26-year-old from Belfast.

Fannan has won in the capital in the past with Ian Cooper, Craig Denton, Michael Hunter and James Rooney and is not worried about this evening’s clash in the Eastend.

“I’ve been to London before and won from the away corner with Ian Cooper against [a world contender] Jim Rock,” said Fannan.

“Hyland will come out of the home corner no doubt.

“But we’re not bothered about that.”

The coach says he’s got a tingle from this task, unlike his last fight night a fortnight ago in Houghton.

“It didn’t fully excite me,” he admitted. “But this? I can’t wait to get to the York Hall.

“This is definitely a challenge and one I really relish.

“Peter’s looking really well.We’re up for this because of the way he’s looking.

“He sparred with [Northern Area champion] Lewis Ritson and thought if he can win something, then so can Peter.

“I’m really impressed with his engine, he seems tireless.

“I’d have been happier with 10 rounds but eight is good, it’s still 24 minutes of top-level lightweight competition.

“This lad’s a lively fighter, very fit, very fresh, it makes for a good contest.”

Hyland has reeled off 14 wins, his most recent being a whirlwind 41-second stoppage of Karoly Gallovich in Belfast last month, his third KO victory in four outings.

Southpaw Cope, 25, has won once under Fannan’s tutelage and the trainer is quietly confident.

“He’s looking a million dollars,” said Fannan. “As long as he doesn’t tense up there’s no reason why he can’t do it.”