Peter Cope up for high-profile fight with Irish prospect Paul Hyland Jnr

Peter Cope is eagerly anticipating a return to London and boxing's big stage.

Thursday, 16th March 2017, 7:44 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:06 am
Peter Cope (left) with coach Neil Fannan. Picture by FRANK REID

The Hartlepool star takes on unbeaten Irishman Paul Hyland Jnr over eight rounds at the York Hall on Friday night.

It is the first instalment of Matchroom’s new NXTGEN series which will be screened live on Sky Sports 1.

Eddie Hearn will send out some of his organisation’s bright young prospects at the famous Eastend venue and the showis an excellent stage for Cope to press his claims in the lightweight division.

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It is the southpaw’s first visit to the capital and first TV appearance since taking on crafty cockney, Mitchell Smith, for the vacant English super-featherweight title in the summer of 2014.

Cope is now up a division and knows this is a huge opportunity against a highly-rated rival who has won all 14 of his contests, including five inside the distance.

“Hyland is ranked ninth in Britain and 20th in Europe so if I pull this off then I’ll be up there,” said the 25-year-old who is trained by Neil Fannan.

“I’d love to turn the lightweight division on its head – that’s my plan.

“We’re quietly confident.”

It will be the second bout for the ex-Northern Area champion with Fannan in his corner.

Cope won on his debut appearance for his new coach following a four-round points victory over Fonz Alexander in December.

And the boxer says he is looking forward to the challenge of facing the 26-year-old, from Belfast.

“I think I showed bits in my last fight what I am capable of when I stick to my boxing,” he said.

“I know Hyland is a better opponent but I’ve taken a lot from that win.

“I’m learning loads from Fanno, he’s brilliant to have in my corner.

“Ultimately, it’s a chance to get some exposure and show what I can do and how I’ve improved.

“I think I can mix it with anyone on my day.

“It’s a bonus it’s going to be on telly, but I’m just looking forward to show what I can do more than anything.”

Hyland looks an impressive foe – he knocked out unbeaten Hungarian Karoly Gallovich in his last outing in his native Belfast last month.

“I’ve not seen anything of him,” Cope said. “But I’m not that bothered about that.

“I’m learning so much with Fanno, I just can’t wait to get in there and put it into practice. It doesn’t matter who it’s against.”