Hartlepool boxers carry on Stadium of Light love affair

Boxer Peter Cope at the Summer Rumble boxing press conference at the Stadium of Light.  Picture by FRANK REID
Boxer Peter Cope at the Summer Rumble boxing press conference at the Stadium of Light. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool boxing duo Peter Cope and Martin Ward will continue their love affairs with the Stadium of Light this Sunday.

The Neil Fannan-trained duo will be on the undercard at the annual Summer Rumble – the annual outdoor spectacular in Sunderland.

It will be Cope’s fifth date at the event – the Poolie has only missed the 2014 and 16 bills since becoming a pro in 2011.

Ward, who also boxed at the 2011 Stadium of Light production, will be appearing there for the fourth time.

For both gifted southpaws, the show represents something of a starter ahead of the main course.

Ward is tuning up for a European super-bantamweight title challenge against Abigail Medina, set for September.

The 29-year-old will take on Gloucestershire’s Harvey Hemsley over six rounds.

Cope, who dreams to move into the lightweight title picture later this year, had hoped to take a step forward this weekend against comeback man, Henry Janes.

Sadly for the 26-year-old Poolie, his Welsh opponent has pulled out of the eight-round chief support contest.

It means Cope must tread over old ground against ex- foe, Lee Connolly, at the Stadium of Light over six rounds.

The pair produced a lively battle in Hartlepool two years ago, when Cope, then boxing out of the Gus Robinson Developments team, outpointed the Derby man.

Connelly, who went the distance with Sunderland machine Glenn Foot at the Summer Rumble 12 months ago, will provide stiff opposition.

The 29-year-old, as Foot discovered, is no pushover. He picked up a draw last time out against home fighter Floyd Moore in London, and has results on the road against two unbeaten fighters in the last year.

Fannan will be looking for Cope to carry on the form he showed in his last appearance, a very closely-fought Sky Sports clash with Paul Hyland at the York Hall in London.

With a potential eliminator to come later this year, the coach will not accept any slip-ups at the Summer Rumble.

Ward too can afford no mishaps ahead of his European challenge next time out against champion, Medina, from Spain.

Foot will be the headline act at the Stadium of Light, where he makes the maiden defence of his English light-welterweight title against undefeated Gloucester fighter Akeem Brown. For tickets, call Neil on 07891101399.