Peter Cope has an opponent – and has a fight on his hands.
The Hartlepool boxer has been matched for tomorrow night’s four-rounder at the Rainton Meadows Arena.
I knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey and there will be ups and downs, but I definitely think I will be there or thereaboutsPeter Cope jnr
He takes on dangerous young Czech Daniel Bazo and knows victory is a must as he looks to bounce back from losing his Northern Area title to John Green in Sunderland back in July.
The Gus Robinson Developments southpaw says the points defeat has interrupted his ambitions and not ruined them.
“I’m only 24 and I still believe I can win a British title,” he told SportMail.
“I knew it wouldn’t be an easy journey and there will be ups and downs, but I definitely think I will be there or thereabouts.
“If I can get a couple of wins I will be back to where I was. I would like the Green fight early next year and go from there.”
Bazo is good and busy. Despite being only 18, he has raced through seven bouts in his professional career – three wins (including two KOs), three defeats and a draw.
His most recent win was a good one and on these shores, outpointing Cockney crowd-favourite Ryan “Crash Bang” Taylor at the York Hall in London’s East End.
Cope hopes to lead a Gus Robinson Developments treble at the Houghton venue.
Horden ace Anth Hardy, who lost last time out in a challenge for the English light-welterweight belt, faces Lee Connelly while Billy Snaith makes his debuts against Paul O’Brien.
Cope has been impressed by both stablemates.
“I think Anth proved a lot that night against Joe Hughes. I thought he boxed great,” said the lightweight prospect.
“Like me, he’ll be looking for a win here and then be challenging next year.
“Anth is improving all the time – he’s trained well and looks good.
“Billy’s a tough lad and think he’ll be a crowd pleaser.
“He’s strong and very game.”
The Gus Robinson triumvirate are part of a mammoth event which is headlined by Martin Ward’s assault on Jazza Dickens’ British super-bantamweight title.
It’s a match which looks too close to call, as Cope admits.
“I’m friends with Jazza as well as Martin, but I am with Team Ward for this one,” he said. “It will be great for this region and great for Martin if he gets the British title.
“It’s a fantastic fight. Obviously, I am hoping Martin wins, but I am going to have to sit on the fence, it looks that close.”