Boxing’s eagerly-anticipated Northern Area title fight between Daniel Cope and Tom Whifield is off.
Whitfield has been ruled out of the Hartlepool v South Shields welterweight derby on Friday, March 18 after suffering a broken jaw in sparring yesterday.
I’ve spoken to both camps and hopefully the recovery goes well and we can get this on later in the year as it’s what the fans wantSTEVE WRAITH
Hartlepool prospect Cope will still box on the Steve Wraith-promoted show at Dunston, while unbeaten Whitfield, part of the in-form Mal Gates gym in South Shields, faces a long spell on the sidelines.
“Unfortunately Tom broke his jaw whilst sparring over Middlesbrough,” said Wraith.
“Our main concern here is Tom’s health and well-being, that’s the most important thing really.
“A promoter’s worries are academic and these things unfortunately happen, it has before and will again.
“The Copes have taken the news well considering and Dan is still appearing on the show.
“I’ve spoken to both camps and hopefully the recovery goes well and we can get this on later in the year as it’s what the fans want.”
The bout is a repeat of a battle 12 months ago at Rainton Meadows Arena which Whitfield won on points.
The 29-year-old said he was devastated by the injury.
“I was sparring down Boro and everything went fine,” he said.
“I got home and didn’t think anything of it until later.
“My face had swelled right up so I went to the walk-in centre who transferred me for an X-ray only for me to find out I had broken my jaw,
“I am absolutely devastated and words can’t describe how gutted I am.
“I am getting an operation on my jaw then it’s a little rest.
“I will be back in gym as soon as I can for I wanted this title, and the fight so so bad.
“I’m gutted, absolutely gutted.”
So too is the eldest of the Cope boxing brothers, who was looking to avenge his points defeat to the Gateshead boxer.
The 24-year-old will still fight at the Lancastrian Suite and vows his opponent will get a “bat” for his troubles.
“I’m absolutely devastated,” said the Gus Robinson Developments ace.
“I’d done so much for this fight as well, we really wanted it, and the title.
“It’s not his fault though and there’s nobody to blame – it could have happened to any of us really.
“I’m still going to be fighting on the show though and somebody is definitely getting a bat though, it’ll just be over six rounds.
“We wish Tom the speediest of recoveries and I’m looking forward to getting it on with him later in the year.”