Peter Cope is just a week away from a contest critical to his boxing future.
The Hartlepool star takes on Abdon Cesar for the British Promoters Association Challenge lightweight belt in Gateshead next Saturday.
It’s time to move, he’s served his apprenticeship at this level, it’s now time to move forwardPETER COPE SNR
While the prize is not the ultimate in the sport, the Gus Robinson Developments camp know it’s what victory may lead to which is important.
Cope has lost title fights in the summers of 2014 and 15, but a success over the 2012 Olympic Games fighter will get his career moving again.
Coach – and dad – Peter Snr told SportMail that he picked Cesar because it was a tough bout.
“We were offered two fights for this show and I took the harder one,” he said.
“Not many people say that in boxing.
“I want Peter to be tested – I could say ‘we’ll take the easier one’, but where will that get him?
“It’s time to move – he’s served his apprenticeship at this level. It’s now time to move forward.
“He’s had fantastic sparring down Bolton with two world title fighters and he’s been sparring with Lewis Ritson this week.
“Everything is going in the right direction, now we’re looking for a real good performance.
“We’ve been let down a few times with fights falling through, but hopefully this one will open the door for bigger things.
“It’s paramount he wins, but he needs a good performance and I think he’s ready to deliver one.”
Cesar boxed at the London Games under his real name of Abdon Mewoli before ‘jumping ship’ and claiming asylum in the UK.
The 30-year-old has settled on Teesside and boxed 10 times as a professional, winning three times.
While it does not look a record to frighten a boxer with ambition, Cope Snr is not taking the Netting Services Limited-sponsored bout for granted.
“We’ve seen this kid and he’ll definitely test Peter right to the limit,” said the trainer.
“Cesar has taken quite a few of his fights at very short notice, but for this one he’s had time to prepare so he’ll be better.
“He’s had three weeks to get ready and it will be four by the time the bout comes around.
“You don’t go to the Olympics if you can’t fight and we know he can.”
But Cope is confident his 25-year-old son can come up trumps.
“He’s more than ready,” he said. “I had Peter up and down the Crimdon steps last night and he was flying, beating his best times.
“He’s really fit and he’s ready.
“Thanks to Netting Services Limited, he’s been training full-time and I can see how good he looks.”
There is free bus travel to Gateshead Leisure Centre next Saturday for the fight.
For ticket/transport info, fans are asked to contact Peter on 07815 991247.