Two down and one to go for Hartlepool boxing team as Daniel Cope and Anth Hardy win at Summer Rumble

WHAT A WIN: Dan Cope (centre) with dad Peter (left) and Alan Temple. Picture by Joe Spence
WHAT A WIN: Dan Cope (centre) with dad Peter (left) and Alan Temple. Picture by Joe Spence
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TWO down and one to go.

That is the simple mathematics taking place in the Gus Robinson Developments boxing gym.

Anth Hardy and debutant Daniel Cope recorded contrasting victories yesterday at the Summer Rumble.

But now attention switches 300 miles south from the Stadium of Light to the Eastend of London where Peter Cope will attempt to lift the English super-featherweight title.

“It’s a huge week for the Gus Robinson gym,” said head coach Peter Cope Snr, whose son will start as the underdog against Mitchell Smith at the York Hall.

“Anth and Daniel have given us a great star.

“On the face of it, you’d say it’s a 60-40 fight in Smith’s favour but we’re confident Peter can make it three.”

Success for unbeaten Peter would be the pinnacle for the West View Road team.

But, today belongs to Daniel Cope after his super points win over JP McGuinness at Sunderland yesterday.

To say the 24-year-old has experienced a testing start to life as a boxing pro would be an understatement.

He entered the pro ranks in May 2013 but failed a medical with laser eye surgery required to correct his vision, an op helped considerably by sponsors Niramax.

Then on Friday night he learns that his opponent, Catterick’s Andy Collins has pulled out, and he may not have a bout after all.

But the matchmaker enticed JP McGuinness down from Scotland to defend his unbeaten record against the eldest boxing member of the Cope clan.

Granted, his winning run was one bout but he still presented a formidable first hurdle for Daniel.

But the welterweight cleared it in emphatic fashion – decking the Scot once on the way to winning every round.

He almost stopped the brave Scot in round five but the 60-53 triumph represented a brilliant start.

This writer has reported on countless pro debuts over the years and this is up with the best of them, especially taking into context his long lay-off.

“Daniel has been out a long, long time so to come back and box like that is very impressive,” said Cope Snr.

“Every time I have seen him spar he’s been getting better and better.

“But you never know for certain – we were in with a fighter who we didn’t really know much about.

“He came here unbeaten and he came to give it a go.

“It could may be have been stopped at one point but we don’t mind, it’s good to get the rounds in.

“It was a real quality display.

“There are things to work on, but when you take into account that was his first fight for something like two years and for him to go and win that well was very pleasing.”

The way McGuinness came out of the red corner with gusto, firing hard with both gloves, it looked as though Dynamite Daniel may be in for a tough time.

We were soon to discover that it was the 25-year-old, from Bellshill, who was facing an arduous afternoon.

Cope got his jab working and then by round two, both hands were highly accurate, his combinations landing time and again to the head of McGuinness.

The away fighter found himself under enormous pressure on the ropes near the blue corner in the third round and on the ring of Stewart Lithgo’s bell at the end of the session, JP tapped Daniel’s arm in acknowledgement of some excellent boxing.

A left-right combination in the fourth was followed a by a right upper cut which felled McGuinness who, to his credit was straight up.

When the Scot was back on the ropes in round five there was a split second when you thought referee Andrew Wright may step in and halt the bout, but the gutsy McGuinness kept throwing back.

JP did well to see the fight through, with Cope maintaining a great temp and accuracy all the way, his jab and combinations never missed.

It was a dream debut – now all eyes turn to the third man in London on Wednesday.