KO Kid Andy Townend interrupts Hartlepool boxer Peter Cope’s title hopes ... for now

WIN: Andy Townend
WIN: Andy Townend

SOMETIMES a boxer lives up to his monicker as Peter Cope found to his cost.

The ‘KO Kid’ justified his tag, Andy Townend stopping the Hartlepool boxer inside four rounds at Doncaster Dome.

Cope was put down twice by the powerful Yorkshireman in the fourth round.

Each time, the 23-year-old was up by the count of eight.

But after the second count, referee Mark Lyson took a close look at Cope and waved the fight off after one minute 59 seconds.

It was a brutal and clinical finish by the Barnsley and Wakefield fighter who has now won seven of his 10 wins via stoppage.

The defeat was only the second of Cope’s career and his first stoppage loss.

Will he come back from this? Without a shadow of a doubt.

The Gus Robinson Developments camp took something of a calculated risk here – taking on a big puncher on their rival’s home soil.

It resulted in defeat, but not the end of the road.

Cope could easily have waited until yesterday and boxed on the Cream of the Crop show and breezed to a win over six rounds.

Instead, he was ambitious and accepted the challenge.

Wiser boxing figures than this writer, who would never dare leave the sanctuary of ringside, will say you learn more from a defeat than any win.

The talented southpaw will have learned from Saturday night’s fight, just as he did from his points loss to Mitchell Smith for the English super-featherweight title in the summer.

And that’s what it’s all about.

There was little he could do against the slick Smith who out-boxed him but on Saturday he was out-punched.

Cope has a fighter’s instinct, that’s what makes him the entertainer he is, but he had boxed superbly in the opening two rounds and did not need to trade.

“I had won the first two rounds so I shouldn’t have been trying to load up with him,” he told SportMail.

“I should probably have stuck to what I had been doing.

“To be honest, he was better than I thought.

“I thought I would have got my boxing off better but he was closing the gap well.

“I am disappointed, I worked really hard for this fight, but I will have to find a way back.”

The battle between two of the country’s most promising super-featherweights promised to be a classic and the four rounds certainly did not short-change the capacity crowd.

Round one was the quietest session, with the boxers showing each other great respect, Cope possibly just shading it on shots landed.

Townend’s jab found its target at the start of round two but Cope did the better work in the second, landing some good scoring combinations and even though the home fighter did get through with a couple of good rights.

Cope made a decent start to the third round but it was Townend who began to grow in authority and strength.

And that was borne out early in the fourth when a right put Cope down. The 23-year-old took his time and was on his feet by the time Mr Lyson had reached eight.

Cope, to his credit, came back well, but after trading with the Tyke a short right floored him near the blue corner.

Again, the Gus Robinson Developments star was up by eight but after taking a look at the southpaw, the Liverpool official called it off.

It was the right decision.

“I had been boxing well, I think I won the first two rounds, but it was just his raw power really,” he said.

“The second time he caught me on the top of my head and it scrambled me a bit.

“I was up and I was ready to go on, I am a fighter and I will fight to the end, but I have no complaints with the referee.

“I think it was warming up to be a great fight but his big shots told in the end.”

His head and body may be sore today and his heart a little heavier, but Cope will be back.

He may be back at a different division with a step up to lightweight from super-feather a distinct possibility.