PETER Cope is hoping a cold blast will make him red-hot in the ring when he fights for the English title this month.
The unbeaten boxer has been plunging into an ice bath at Hartlepool College of Further Education as part of his preparations to a showdown with Mitch Smith in London.
Cope will meet the cockney prospect for the vacant super-featherweight belt at the famous York Hall in Bethnal Green on Wednesday, July 16.
Boxers are well versed in running, skipping, sparring, pad-work and the like, but ice baths?
“It’s all about helping your body recover as quickly as possible,” the Hartlepool boxer told SportMail.
“I’m over the moon Hartlepool College are supporting me like this.
“The FE have great facilities here.
“Ice baths are all part of the recovery process.
“Your body gets battered and bruised in a hard training session.
“Ice baths help your muscles, tendons, nerves recover more quickly.
“A lot of work goes into getting ready for a fight and the training is very hard, usually about four hours-plus every day.
“Doing something like this at Hartlepool College of FE can only help me and I can’t thank them enough.”
Smith v Cope has the makings of a classic at the York Hall.
The Londoner, 22, has won all eight of his bouts, while the Gus Robinson Developments star has one more victory on his record.
“I can’t wait to get in there,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s a great opportunity for me.”
Smith will start as favourite and judging by some quotes in the London press is revelling in that status.
“This sport is about levels and I’m levels above him,” he told Get West London, adding that he was “looking forward to knocking out Peter Cope.”
The Poolie appears to be steeling himself against getting involved in a war of words.
“I’m very confident going into this fight and it will be interesting to see how he reacts after a couple of rounds if things aren’t going to plan for him,” he said.