Hartlepool boxing’s Team Cope upset with Matchroom boss Eddie Hearn’s title comment


PETER Cope aims to make Eddie Hearn eat his words after the country’s leading promoter said the boxer “probably wouldn’t win a British title”.

Matchroom’s supremo was talking up the prospects of the gifted Hartlepool fighter being part of the April show in Newcastle headlined by his star signing Bradley Saunders.

While Hearn spoke very brightly about the 23-year-old and his band of supporters, “the Barmy Army”, coach Peter Cope Snr and manager Alan Temple were riled by one comment.

“He’s definitely not going to win a world title,” he said in an interview with SportMail. “He probably won’t even win a British title.

“What we want is personalties like Peter Cope and those sort of guys are welcome.”

The words may be look worse in black and white but Hearn spoke with real colour about the Northern Area lightweight champion who is less than a fortnight away from an English title eliminator at super-feather.

Gus Robinson Developments head coach Cope said: “I thought it was more than a little unfair and I wasn’t alone.

“It was a very negative thing for Eddie Hearn to say and needless to say I don’t agree with him. Peter has only had 11 fights and he’s up around English championship level already.

“He is just 23 and he’s still learning his trade – he had limited amateur experience and he’s just up to 11 contests now as a pro.

“How many boxers are British championship level after that many fights, Bradley Saunders clearly is, but how many Bradleys are about? Not many.

“A week on Saturday, Peter will be having his third 10-rounder in six months and, should he win, he’s in line for another crack at the English belt.

“He’s moving in the right direction.

“Eddie Hearn, obviously, is doing very well in his business, but when I read that in the Mail, I just thought ‘you can’t make predictions like that’.

“Look at Steve Robinson, I think he’d lost seven of his 17 fights, or something like that, when he got a late shot at the world title.

“He won and defended it Lord knows how many times until he came up against Naz [Prince Naseem Hamed].

“Eddie is right that Peter won’t win a world title, but who is to say that in six, seven or eight fights that he won’t be British champion.

“To be fair, Peter was not really bothered by it, all he said was ‘dad, it looks like I’ll just have to prove him wrong’.

“I just thought it was a negative thing for Eddie to say, it was like ‘he’s not going to win anything but he’s a nice kid with colourful fans’.”

Cope Jnr has the perfect opportunity to prove his worth a week on Saturday.

The southpaw takes on Yorkshire’s Andy Townend in an English super-featherweight eliminator at Doncaster Dome.

It is a big and tough fight for the Poolie given the Wakefield boxer is on home soil and is a KO specialist, six of his nine wins coming early. But Team Cope are relishing the challenge.

“Peter is looking in good nick,” said Cope snr. “He’s been sparring with Martin Ward, Lee Mould and Josh Leather you can’t get much better than that.

“Townend is a real threat and it looks a genuine 50-50 fight.

“But the incentive is there, win and he’s back to where he was in the summer, in for a challenge for the English title.”

Cope has tickets available for the Doncaster show. Call 07815991247 for details.