PETER Cope was today looking forward to a crack at his first professional title.
The gifted Hartlepool prospect will fight Redcar’s Gavin Reid for the International Masters super-bantamweight belt at the Stadium of Light on July 15.
It sounds a fancy handle on the most local of boxing derbies but Reid was ineligible to fight for the Northern Area crown because he has twice previously challenged for the Celtic championship.
Cope and the Gus Robinson Developments team are unconcerned about the name on the belt, they are simply looking forward to getting their teeth into something big.
The 21-year-old has a perfect record of five wins in the professional ranks but he is a young boxer in a hurry – he wants longer, more meaningful fights.
“I just want to keep improving as a boxer and think this contest is ideal,” Cope told SportMail.
“I’ve seen a bit of Gavin and he’s a good lad.
“He’s tough, fit and determined but I think he probably comes up a bit short against the better fighters.
“I think it will be a hard fight and one I can learn a lot from.
“The fact it’s for a title is a bonus and it’s going to be on a huge show at the Stadium of Light.
“I loved boxing there last year – and that was just a four-rounder. To be fighting a 10-round title bout will be brilliant.”
At 33, Reid is 12 years Cope’s senior and he has 20 contests under his belt.