Coach Peter Cope has warned against unbeaten prospect Felix Cash taking Greg O’Neil lightly.
Cope will be in the corner of the ‘Real Deal’ tomorrow night in London’s Eastend, where the Hartlepool and Horden fighter will be looking to deliver a shock.
One punch can neutralise anyone – this is boxing, anything can happenPETER COPE
Former Team GB star Cash has won all six of appearances since turning professional for Eddie Hearn in May 2016.
And the 24-year-old will be the hot favourite to make it seven tomorrow against the up-and-at’em Gus Robinson Developments middleweight.
Four of Cash’s wins have come inside the distance – including three first round KOs – but Cope says Team O’Neil have no fears about the six-rounder at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, which will be shown on Sky Sports.
“Greg want to be in fights and this is a fight,” said the Gus Robinson Developments head coach. “This is a step up, fighting a London prospect in London on a Matchroom show.
“We’re under no illusions, I’ve watched Cash and he’s a bit warm.
“But Greg is a physically-strong kid who can hit. If he hands one then he’s got a chance, especially if they take him lightly
“One punch can neutralise anyone – this is boxing, anything can happen.
“Look what happened on Saturday night with James De Gale. He’s supposed to be our best super-middle and he got beaten by someone everyone was saying he’d probably stop.
“The bottom line is, Greg’s got a chance.”
O’Neil has upset the odds already this year, admittedly on a lesser scale when he outpointed popular Yorkshire fighter, Harry Matthews, over eight ferociously-contested rounds in York.
Cash, of course, is of a far richer currency, but Cope says O’Neil has “trained hard” under him and fellow coach Alan Temple at the West View Road gym.
He added: “Greg has not always been the best trainer and sparring has been similar, if I’m being honest. But he’s put the work in and his sparring has been decent.
“Some boxers look world-beaters in sparring but then can’t transfer it into a bout.
“With Greg he has that knack of being able to fight better than he trains.”
The six-round battle forms part of the undercard of Katie Taylor’s maiden defence of her WBA world lightweight title. The Irish Queen could have sold out the venue several times over for her 10-round shoot-out with America’s Jessica McCaskill.