ANTH Hardy is ready for a challenge - two to be precise.
The Horden boxer, who fights out of the Gus Robinson camp in Hartlepool, will tackle his second contest as a professional this Saturday.
Hardy faces Newcastle’s Chris Bennett at Houghton-le-Spring in a confrontation of two unbeaten new pros.
And he will be boxing at a new weight after slimming down from welterweight to light-welter.
Gus Robinson Developments head coach Peter Cope said: “It’s a challenge.
“It’s totally different to fighting a journeyman.
“But these are the fights that are going to bring him on as a boxer.
“This kid will be coming to win and hopefully that will leave openings Anth can exploit.”
Bennett has boxed only once himself, the 24-year-old having beaten the late Billy Smith back in April at the same Rainton Meadows Arena he will box in this weekend.
The Geordie is an aggressive customer but there are no complaints from Cope.
“Anth wants fights and he’s got one here,” he said.
“It’s not easy because he’s up against someone as hungry as he is.
“But I’m confident - Chris has not had the amateur experience Anth’s had.
“He’s a strong kid who comes forward and I think that could work to Anth’s advantage.”
And the bout will be Hardy’s first at the 10stone division.
“He’s starting to fight at light-welter rather than welter,” he said.
“His diet has been spot on and he’s done the weight easy, in fact he was down at the weight at the weekend.”
Cope says the switch has been a straight forward one, thanks to his professionalism and attitude.
“He’s an absolute joy to train, not one bit of bother,” Cope said.
“He works hard, follows his diet, there are never any quibbles and he does everything asked of him.
“Anth’s a proper nice kid and is the easiest lad I’ve ever trained.”