Hartlepool and Horden boxer Anth Hardy to fight in Gateshead

ON THE OFFENSIVE: Anthony Hardy (yellow shorts) V Chris Bennett
ON THE OFFENSIVE: Anthony Hardy (yellow shorts) V Chris Bennett

ANTH Hardy will get another chance to showcase his talents after being given a spot on the big boxing show coming to the North-East next month.

Hardy has been named on the cast list for the Steve Wraith and Francis Warren-promoted bill at Gateshead Leisure Centre on Friday, November 22.

His former Gus Robinson Developments team-mate Bradley Saunders – now operating out of Marbella – is expected to headline the event.

Hardy made it two wins from two outings as a pro when he beat Newcastle’s Chris Bennett at Houghton-le-Spring two weekends ago.

The 21-year-old, from Horden, is trained by Peter Cope at the West View Road gym.

And the head coach said the Gus Robinson Developments team were thrilled by the news.

“It’s great for Anth to be boxing again so soon,” Cope told SportMail. “He’s making good progress but he needs fights to build his experience so this will be ideal.

“Anth is going in the right direction but you have to remember he is only 21 and is still just a young pro.

“It’s a long road [professional boxing but he’s definitely getting there.”

This reporter thought the light-welterweight boxed very well against Bennett, a shorter but more aggressive opponent.

Typical of many southpaws, Hardy likes to wait for his rival coming forward before using his counter-punches.

But while pleased with the performance, Cope, who makes something of a speciality of coaching southpaws, says he is trying to make the unbeaten boxer more positive.

“Anth is never going to be one on the front foot and having a fight,” Cope said. “That is not in his nature and that’s fine.

“He is a bit safety-first and that’s where we need to tweak things a little.

“He’s a typical southpaw, a counter puncher.

“But what I’m trying to say to him is that you can go backwards and still fight – go back but then step in with short counters.

“Anth needs to be more positive – he can excite as he showed when putting Bennett down in his last fight. He can hit.

“But he is getting better and making progress all the time and I think people will see that in Gateshead.”