Hartlepool, Horden boxer Anth Hardy’s win thrills coach

Anth Hardy on his way to victory over Andrej Cepur. Picture by TOM COLLINS
Anth Hardy on his way to victory over Andrej Cepur. Picture by TOM COLLINS

Coach Peter Cope saluted Anth Hardy for his “best performance” after he made a winning comeback.

Hardy, out of action for 14 months, produced some excellent boxing on the way to a points victory over Andrej Cepur at Sedgefield.

The only thing I’ve felt he’s lacked was a bit of spite in the ring and we got to see that on Saturday

PETER COPE

The Horden and Hartlepool boxer, who turned 25 last week, won 40-35 on the scorecard of referee Kenny Pringle at Hardwick Hall.

Hardy showed no signs of ring-rust following an injury-plagued absence since suffering the first KO loss of his career in February 2016.

Hardy felled the Lithuanian in the first round with a sweet right hook and while his rival got off the canvas, the slick Gus Robinson Developments southpaw dominated the bout.

His right was sharp to the head of Cepur, following it in with some accurate long lefts. He let his shots go in the last session as well and looked to be revelling in his ring return as he clinched his ninth career success.

“I was absolutely delighted with Anth,” said Gus Robinson Developments head coach Cope. “Taking everything into account, I’d have to rate this as his best performance.

“The other kid was durable and he slung a few shots over the top as we thought he would.

“But the way Anth countered, jabbed, moved, stepped out, stepped in, was brilliant. There was a lot of variety in his work.

“Me and [coach] Alan [Temple] were over the moon with him.

“He’s always been a joy to train, a model pro, whatever he’s been asked to do, he’ll do.

“The only thing I’ve felt he’s lacked was a bit of spite in the ring and we got to see that on Saturday.

“He’s already boxed for the English title and only lost on a split decision.

“We’re hoping now he’s got this bout out the way we’ll look to get him moving back to that level.”