Hartlepool boxing has a new fighter ready to join the professional ranks.
Super-middleweight Richard O’Neill has joined the Gus Robinson Developments team who hope to give him a pro debut on the undercard of Martin Ward’s British super-bantamweight title challenge in November.
“ichard is the sort of fighter we like – he’s a proper genuine lad and a great trainerPETER COPE SNR
The 29-year-old must first pass a test outside the ring – he is due to appear in front of the British Boxing Board of Control, a week tomorrow, when officials will decide whether to grant him a licence or not.
“Hopefully everything will be straight-forward,” said Gus Robinson Developments head coach Peter Cope.
“We’re over the moon with Richard and think he’s a good acquisition to our team.
“He’d done some sparring with us before and when he decided he wanted to go pro, he approached us about joining the team.
“Richard has been training with us for a while and we’re very happy with what he’s done and the attitude he has.
“He only has limited amateur experience, I think he has 12 wins from 15 at Spennymoor, but he’s a fighter who will get in and give it a go, the type of fighter fans love to watch.
“He well-built, he’s 6ft, 6ft 1in, and he’s fitted in really well to the gym.
“Richard is the sort of fighter we like – he’s a proper genuine lad and a great trainer.
“Everything we’ve asked of him he’s done, he’s impressed us.
“How far can he go? I’m not sure – he’s 29, it’s not like he’s 22, but we won’t rush him.
“We’ll get him some steady fights to build his experience over the first year in the pro game then let him loose.
“We’re hoping to get him on the bill for the Martin Ward title fight at the Rainton Meadows Arena on November 20 if the Board say yes to his licence next week.”
O’Neill’s arrival at the West View Road gym brings the pro squad up to six.
Former Northern Area champ and English title challenger Peter Cope Jnr is the camp’s star turn, with Anth Hardy, following his English championship challenge last month, another boxer on the way up.
Daniel Cope, Liam Cammock and Greg O’Neil are all young prospects, with Cope set to box at Dunston a week on Friday in his fifth pro appearance.
But at present, the Horden trio of Cammock (ribs), Hardy (ear) and O’Neil (back) are all injured.
“It’s strange at the moment with the injury situation we have,” said coach Cope. “But it’s exciting to have Richard here.”