Daniel Cope has gone from a North-East derby to a long-distance battle for his first bout of 2016.
The Gus Robinson Developments boxer had been due for a Hartlepool v South Shields derby at Dunston for the Northern Area welterweight title this Friday.
We’re looking for Daniel to make progress and that will only happen by him boxingPETER COPE
But as SportMail reported, opponent Tom Whitfield suffered a broken jaw in sparring, ruling him out of the eagerly-awaited 10-round confrontation.
Promoter Steve Wraith kept the 25-year-old on the show in a non-title contest and will now face Arvidas Trinzo over six rounds at the Lancastrian Suite.
The Lithuanian becomes Cope’s first overseas opponent in his sixth fight.
It could prove a test for the Poolie – Trinzo, while only two years his senior, has 74 appearances under his belt.
A pro since 2009, the boxer from Klaipeda, has won 22 times and drawn four.
Trinzo has boxed in the region before, losing to Sunderland prospect Isaac Macleod at the Borough Hall last May.
Cope’s coach – and dad – explained that it’s not a straight-forward assignment and that he’s pleased that’s the case.
“It might have been easy for me to say after Tom had to pull out ‘get yourself out for a beer Daniel and have a week or two off’,” said Cope Snr.
“We could have sat this out and waited until later this year when Tom hopefully will be fit to fight for the belt.
“But waiting will not make Daniel a better boxer.
“Daniel needs experience – he needs rounds.
“He’s only had five bouts and that’s after a limited number of amateur contests.
“We’re looking for Daniel to make progress and that will only happen by him boxing.
“He put in a tremendous amount of work for the fight with Tom and it would have been negligent of us to let that go to waste.
“This will be a good test for him – Trinzo has won plenty of times and stopped a few. He is experienced and that’s what we must get for Daniel.
“He was gutted the fight was off but he’s looking forward to boxing Trinzo and hoping to put on a good show for the fans.”
Cope is part of a Gus Robinson Developments’ Lithuanian double at the Gateshead venue.
Team-mate Billy Snaith also has Baltic opposition against Andrej Cepur over four rounds.
It is Snaith’s second pro appearance after a debut victory inHoughton last November.
But it’s a tough one – Russian-born Cepur, now based in Lithuania, has won eight times.
For tickets, contact Peter on 07815991247.