Adam Cope has been likened to one of Hartlepool’s boxing greats as he builds towards his pro debut.
The 21-year-old, one of the big town fighting family, will take his first steps in the paid ranks at the Borough Hall on Saturday, September 30.
Cope will be one of the attractions on the undercard of stablemate Martin Ward’s challenge for the European super-bantamweight title at the famous Headland venue.
The highly-decorated ex-amateur is being coached by trainer Neil Fannan and managed by Dave Garside – the men who guided the career of the town’s most successful fighter, Michael Hunter.
Fannan has praised the way the super-featherweight has undergone the transformation and says Garside has been even more “impressed”, likening him to George Feeney.
Feeney was forced to retire in the mid-1980s with an eye problem but, until then, had been Britain’s unbeaten lightweight champion and had gone the distance with two USA legends, Howard Davis and Ray “Boom boom” Mancini.
“Dave goes on about Adam all the time,” said Fannan. “When he’s been watching him in the gym he’s been really impressed.
“Dave likens him to George Feeney, because of his balanace and judgement of distance. You can’t get a higher compliment than that.
“George was world class.”
Fannan has been working with Cope, the younger brother of Daniel and Peter, and says his progression has been swift.
“Adam looks a very useful addition to the pro ranks,” he said. “He took no settling in at all really, probably no surprise given his background.
“You don’t have to show him anything many times, he’s been really quick in picking up anything I’ve taught him.
“I can’t wait to see him box at the Borough Hall and I do believe he is going to take some holding back.”
There are two other local debutants on the bill, Peterlee’s Tom Hill and Terry Tyres, with seven bouts scheduled.
Ward will headline the event when he tackles Spain’s Abigail Medina for the European belt.
For tickets, contact (01429) 291611 or Neil on 07891101399.