Daniel Cope moved his career forward with his best win as a professional when he passed a tough test against Eastern European opposition at Gateshead.
Cope, making only his sixth appearance since joining the paid ranks, outpointed Arvydas Trizno last night.
It wasn’t the best of performances, but he was an awkward opponent and dangerous with his right handDANIEL COPE
It was the Hartlepool boxer’s fifth victory against a man who was having his 74th contest and was dangerous with a capital D.
Trizno’s booming right hand forced the Gus Robinson Developments camp into a more composed approach.
Instead of ‘Dynamite’ Daniel, it was a case of ‘Disciplined’ Daniel and those four rounds against the 27-year-old Lithuanian could prove invaluable moving forward.
He had been due to tackle Tom Whitfield for the Northern Area welterweight title on the Steve Wraith-promoted show at the Lancastrian Suite, only for the South Shields boxer to suffer a broken jaw in sparring.
Cope admitted he found the motivation hard for this four-rounder, having been lined up for a 10-round derby with his North-East rival.
But he boxed well against a man very adept at chucking – and landing – a big right.
Had Cope tried to be the crowd-pleaser he could have ended up on his backside.
Instead, he used his skills and his brains and his 39-37 points win will stand him in good stead.
“It wasn’t the best of performances,” Daniel told SportMail. “But he was an awkward opponent and dangerous with his right hand.
“I must admit I found motivation a bit of an issue – it’s a bit disheartening to go from a 10-round fight for a title to a four-rounder
“But a win’s a win though and it moves me forward.”
Sometimes opponents from overseas lack ability, heart and ambition.
But Trizno had all three qualities. He also had a sledgehammer right hand which he was not afraid to unleash.
Cope was not hit once in the first round by hit – he was caught six times.
But the 25-year-old was not hurt and a minute in the corner with head coach – and dad – Peter Cope and Alan Temple soon got him back on the right track.
Cope got his jab working effectively in the second round and also connected with his right to even up the bout.
And while Trizno landed several rights in round three, the last two sessions saw Cope put together some nice, accurate left-right combinations to take control.
It was a test but he deserved his success.
It made it Hartlepool 2 Lithuania 0 at the Dunston venue after his Gus Robinson Developments pal, Billy Snaith also beat Baltic opposition.
The 28-year-old made it two wins from two pro appearances when he outpointed Andrej Cepur, also over four rounds, 40-36.
Sedgefield sensation Jeff Saunders, not for the first time, did not hang about.
The 24-year-old registered his fifth stoppage win in six fights when referee, Andrew Wright, halted his contest with Zoltan Turai nine seconds from the end of round two, having decked the Hungarian twice in the opening session.