Hartlepool boxer Peter Cope in good place ahead of fight with Barnsley’s Andy Townend


PETER Cope is in the “best possible place” just five days before his pivotal super-featherweight showdown with Andy Townend.

That was the assessment by the man who knows him best – his coach and dad.

Peter Cope Snr believes ‘little Pete’ can make a big step forward with victory in a mouthwatering 10-rounder in Doncaster.

In his last two outings, the Gus Robinson Developments southpaw has fought for titles – a failed English super-feather challenge in London in July against Mitchell Smith, followed by victory for the vacant Northern Area lightweight belt against Midddlesbrough’s John Green in South Shields.

No silverware is on the line at Doncaster Dome – but it is an English championship eliminator and with current king Smith set to move up the 9st 4lb ladder, a win would clearly put Cope in pole position.

“Peter’s in the best possible place at the moment,” said Cope Snr. “We have total respect for Andy, who has sparred with us before.

“But everyone who has watched Peter in training has marvelled at how good he is looking.

“I’m not saying his last two performances have been his best but I see Peter every day in the gym and I’ve seen how he’s improved. He’s getting better all the time and hopefully we’ll see that on Saturday.”

In the past, the 23-year-old has not always shone in sparring but sessions with top North-East talent like Lee Mould, Martin Ward and Josh Leather suggest that Cope Snr may be correct in his assessment.

All three ‘opponents’ are in fantastic nick themselves in their own fight weeks.

Stockton boxer Leather, whose strength and conditioning coach is Hartlepool fitness guru Ian Glass, registered his sixth straight pro success last night in London by outpointing previously-unbeaten Fergus Taylor.

Unbeaten ‘Mexican Mackem’ Mould is preparing to challenge for the Northern Area welter belt in Gateshead on Saturday night against Birtley’s Craig Dixon.

And Ward boxes for the first time since his world title challenge when he faces Ghana Isaac Osuke in Houghton this Sunday.

“He’s sparred with all those lads, plus his brother [Daniel} and Anth [Hardy in our gym],” said the Gus Robinson Developments coach.

“Peter spars like he fights so when he did 10 rounds with Lee Mould it was like World War 3!

“Lee is so strong and a tough lad while Martin is so quick and clever, so Peter’s getting the very best.

“Peter and Martin are friends, not that you’d guess it by watching them in the ring.

“They did six last time and it was also a great spar.”

Barnsley-based Townend is in pretty good touch himself, his last two bouts being stoppage victories in Central Area title fights.

“We know what Andy’s about and what he can do,” said Cope.

FOR tickets and transport, contact Peter on 07815991247.