Adam Cope returned to the boxing ring with a vengeance.
The Hartlepool teenager, boxing for the first time since May, outpointed Adam Hutchinson after three exciting rounds at the Corporation Club.
For all he had not taped up his gloves in anger for eight months, the Gus Robinson Developments star showed no sign of ring-rust.
The Cope jab was impressive but so too were the series of razor sharp combinations to the head and body of the 25-year-old, from Darlington.
To emphasise the quality of Cope just before the end of the first three minutes, he appeared to be teeing up a right, only to bring over a looping left hook to Hutchinson’s head. The Albert Hill boxer looked completely bamboozled.
The pattern continued in round two, the 19-year-old making Hutchinson miss and then rattling in combination after combination before the away fighter could react.
The opening two rounds were a master class, as Cope showed speed and accuracy, allied to some great movement.
To the credit of Hutchinson, the man in the blue corner never once gave up in a bout superbly controlled by Hartlepool’s international referee, Paul Allen.
And in the last, the southpaw moved forward with determination, landing a number of lefts of his own and reminding the 2015 ABA Championship finalist to stay on his guard.
Cope resumed his control in the last minute and finished, as he had started, on top.