Hartlepool boxer Daniel Cope says his fists will do the talking against Ferryhill’s Billy Snaith

Daniel Cope: Defending champion. Picture by FRANK REID
Daniel Cope: Defending champion. Picture by FRANK REID

Daniel Cope plans to let his fists do the talking when he makes the maiden defence of the Northern Area welterweight title.

The Hartlepool fighter puts his belt on the line tonight at Sedgefield against his former team-mate, Billy Snaith.

There is nothing wrong with confidence but some of the stuff he’s been coming out with has been embarrassing

DANIEL COPE

Cope and Snaith were team-mates at the Gus Robinson Developments gym this time last year, though now are sworn enemies.

Threats, insults and school playground-like name-calling has blighted the build-up to what promises to be a spectacular fight, which is scheduled for 10 rounds at the Hardwick Hall. If it gets that far.

Promoter Steve Wraith appealed for calm heads, though that did not stop Snaith posting a message on Facebook that he was planning to “put Cope to sleep”.

Snaith may yet be asked to appear in front of the British Boxing Board of Control’s Northern Area council to explain some of his comments.

However, Cope says he will put an end to the war of words, decisively.

“I’ve been happy to let Billy do all the talking and I’ll do the boxing,” said the 26-year-old. “I’m looking forward to seeing if Billy can back up all his words.

“There is nothing wrong with confidence, but some of the stuff he’s been coming out with has been embarrassing.

“He’s put so much pressure on himself he’s running the risk of being embarrassed tonight when he does nothing that he’s promised to.”

It promises to be an explosive scrap and it’s likely to come down to which boxer has the best defence or which one keeps the lid on his emotions best.

“I’ll let Billy get excited,” said Cope. “I’m simply keeping focused on sticking to the plan – I won’t be getting dragged into anything.”

Both boxers tipped the scales at 10st 5¾lbs at the weigh-in yesterday.

Cope said he was not impressed with the look of the challenger.

“Billy looked dead on the scales,” said Cope. “He looked see-through.”

The Neil Fannan fighter told SportMail he was confident of success – but not complacent.

“I feel good and have had some great sparring,” he said. “Everything has gone perfectly.

“I’ve sparred Billy before and left after just three rounds of his last fight.

“I’m not worried about him but that does not mean I’m taking it lightly.”