PETER Cope was today trying to pick himself up after the “sickening” blow of the cancellation of his Northern Area title challenge, writes ROY KELLY.
Cope and Dougie Curran were set to collide in a Friday the 13th confronation for the vacant super-featherweight belt in Gateshead.
However, Curran pulled out last night because of a trapped nerve in his back, leaving the 22-year-old Poolie “absolutely devastated”.
It is too late for promoter Steve Wraith and the Northern council of the British Boxing Board of Control to find a substitute opponent.
But the 22-year-old could still appear on the bill at the Dunston Fed Brewery in a six-round non-title contest according to Gus Robinson Developments head coach, and Cope’s dad, Peter Snr.
“That’s the hope,” he told SportMail.
“The promoter is looking for a replacement.
“He’s trained too hard to not fight at all. What’s happened is sickening.
“Peter had been in training for 10 weeks, the last six very, very full-on.
“He was in a great place, mentally and phyically, his condition is first class.
“He’s absolutely devastated, I am, so is Dan Robinson and so is everyone connected with him.
“But that’s boxing, it happens,
“It’s all part of a learning curve, both in terms of boxing and life.
“To say it’s disappointing is an under-statement, but it’s not as if he’s lost.
“This bout has been called off but it could happen further down the line.
“Peter must now pick himself up and be a good professional. He should still have a job to do on Friday night and hopefully box well and win.”
And promotor Wraith said: “It’s very disappointing but that’s the nature of boxing.
“Dougie has got a full-time job and it was a freak accident in which he’s jarred his back.
“He can barely walk.
“He’s devastated and was in tears when he rang to tell me.
“He’s worked extremely hard to get where he is so it’s a massive blow.
“We’ll try our best to get Peter another fight and it still promises to be a great show.”