Daniel Cope’s coach admits it might be a case of “back to the drawing board” after the fighter lost his Northern Area title.
Cope suffered a wide points defeat to friend-turned-arch-rival Billy Snaith in their welterweight derby at Sedgefield.
There was no substance and he did not seem able to land against an average opponentNEIL FANNAN
The Hartlepool boxer began as favourite but never got going with Snaith getting the verdict, 98-93 from referee Kenny Pringle.
Unbeaten Snaith, from Ferryhill, made the sharper start, landing several good rights and with the impetus, never looked like losing his grip.
This reporter had it a point closer at 98-94 but there was no doubting the winner with Cope’s coach, Neil Fannan, typically, offering a frank and honest assessment.
“I was surprised how poor Daniel was,” he said. “There was no substance and he did not seem able to land against an average opponent.
“Fair play to Billy, he fought at his own pace and controlled everything.
“He dictated the contest and won comfortably.”
Cope has not always been the quickest of starters but overcame that when he won the title last October by stopping Tom Whitfield on round eight with a big right.
But he rarely connected with any clean shots.
“Danny seems to be one of those boxers who needs to get hit before livening up,” said the trainer.
“He got hit a couple of times and expected him to warm into it.
“I did expect Billy to land a couple and maybe be dangerous in the early rounds, but then for Daniel to get into it, given the way he’s looked in the gym.”
It looked like an off-night for the Poolie, something which can happen to a boxer, though given he’s only 26, he can come again.
“I’m very frustrated,” said Fannan, who said he’d look at his own ‘performance’ as he dissects the events at the Hardwick Hall.
“I’ve watched him spar good lads and he looks a decent professional.
“But he didn’t carry that into the ring, he looked like a novice.
“Maybe I’m doing something wrong.
“I saw no improvement. Danny’s not the sort of lad who lets the pressure get to him, so it wasn’t that.
“It’s probably back to the drawing board.”