ADAM Cope faces the fight of his life if he is to keep alive his hopes of national title glory.
The teenage boxer faces national champ Peter McGrail in the Junior ABA Championship semi-final in Birmingham on Sunday.
It is a huge test for the Gus Robinson Developments ABC prospect but he will travel to the Great Barr Leisure Centre in confident mood.
Cope reached the last four of the U54 kilo division in style with a comprehensive points win over Manchester boxer George Brennan.
His opponent came to the ring armed with the benefit of home advantage and with a good pedigree, given he was boxing out of the Jimmy Egan Boxing Academy in Wythenshawe.
But the Hartlepool crowd favourite bamboozled him with a Cope master-class.
He landed to the head and body at will in the first two rounds and toyed with him in the final session before being awarded the decision on all five judges’ scorecards.
It was a dazzling display which won approval from the crowd but, in particular, coaches Tony Martin and Wayne Short.
“Adam dominated from start to finish,” Short told Sportmail.
It was the sixth win in a row for the former English Martyrs School pupil since going out of the National Clubs for Young People’s championship semi-final last December.
Short and the Gus Robinson Developments team are well aware of the task in front of Cope but say he’ll give it his best shot against the Liverpool star.
“It is his toughest fight, without a shadow of doubt,” said Short.
“McGrail is a top-class boxer and he’s a southpaw too.
“His record is outstanding – 46 wins from 52 fights and he’s from Everton Red Triangle which is a really good club.
“But Adam is a really good boxer himself and he’ll go there and give it his best shot.”
SEE Thursday’s Mail for full story