PETER Cope has come back to life – in good time to complete the perfect 10.
After nine straight wins, the unbeaten Hartlepool boxer is just over two weeks away from the biggest fight of his career to date.
Cope will challenge for the vacant British Masters super-featherweight championship against Slough’s Ian Bailey at Houghton-le-Spring on Friday, March 7 when Kirk Goodings defends his English lightweight crown against Fishburn’s Gary Fox.
It may not be the belt at the top of a fighter’s wishlist – but the 10 round north v south clash could and should lead to a crack at the English title.
The gifted 22-year-old’s coach and father, Peter Snr, believes the Gus Robinson Developments boxer has rediscovered the zest which had made him one of the most-talked-about youngsters in the country.
“For the last six months Peter has really impressed me,” said Cope Snr.
“He’s trained brilliantly and the sparring, which has not always been his strong point, has been excellent.
“Things really took off when he beat Sean Hughes in December in Newcastle.
“Since then, he has just kept getting better.
“Peter is absolutely flying at the moment.
“He did 10 rounds [sparring] last week with a light-welter from South Shields, Lee Mould, who’s a good, young, lively pro.
“He’ll spar with Mick Hadfield on Monday night and that will be him pretty much finished.
“I think he’d may be stagnated a bit last year – he beat Davey Lake and Kas Hussain but he was not at his best.
“He needs something meaningful and a challenge at this stage of his career.
“Hughes was certainly a challenge and he performed against a very good and experienced former title fighter.
“But this British Masters bout is, in my opinion, a little more demanding.”
Bailey, a Southern Area champ, has already fought for the English belt and is a tough opponent as Cope Snr is well aware.
“Bailey I think is that bit fresher than Sean and he’ll be coming up here to win and set down his own marker,” he said.
“This is not an eliminator but we know winning the British Masters title in a 10-round contest could be the springboard we need for something bigger.”
l FOR ticket info, call Peter 07815991247.