Daniel Cope is to defend his Northern Area title next month – against former team-mate and friend, Billy Snaith.
Not that there has been anything friendly about the launch of the welterweight derby which will take place at Sedgefield on Saturday, April 22.
Snaith has delivered an expletive-laden message to the Hartlepool boxer on a video posted on social media.
It has lit the blue touchpaper for the 10-round showdown at the Hardwick Hall.
“The ring is lonely place when it’s just me and you,” Snaith said in a piece direct to camera.
“You might have your fans, but they can’t fight for you – I’ve got my fans but I can fight.
“We’ll meet in the centre of the ring on the 22nd, don’t double jab and run away.
“Stand in the middle of the ring and fight and give the fans what they want to see, a proper scrap for 10 rounds and let the best man win and you know who it’s going to be.
“22nd, you are mine,” he added with a throat-slashing motion.
It certainly adds spice, not that any was really needed for what looks a cracker of a Hartlepool v Ferryhill tear-up.
Cope, 26, responded on social media by saying: “Anybody wanting a good laugh, have a watch of the Billy the Snail interview. Making himself look more and more of a clown every day. Please don’t FAIL weight again fatty.”
The remarkable thing is the pair were team-mates and pals at the Gus Robinson Developments gym until last year. Cope then left to join Neil Fannan’s stable which opened the possibility of a bout.
But Snaith was coached by Daniel’s dad, Peter Snr, who said there was be no way he’d sanction a fight between his boxer and his son.
However, Snaith left the Gus Robinson camp after three straight wins to join Jeff Saunders Snr’s gym in Fishburn, where he has now extended his 100% record to four contests.
The 29-year-old beat Michal Vosyka, from the Czech Republic, over eight rounds, and immediately began to ‘call out’ the Northern Area champion.
And the match was soon made by Snaith’s manager and promoter, Steve Wraith, who will stage the showdown at the Hardwick Hall on Saturday, April 22.
Cope won the vacant Northern belt back in October when he avenged his only professional defeat by stopping unbeaten South Shields fighter Tom Whitfield in eight rounds in Ashington.
For tickets, call Neil on 07891101399.