Peter Cope has no disgrace in defeat to Mitch Smith

nphm cope 3.JPG
nphm cope 3.JPG

SOMETIMES you just have to stand back and admire a masterclass.

Defeat for Peter Cope at the hands of the quick feet, hands and brain of Mitchell Smith was no disgrace.

Cope and the Gus Robinson Developments team arrived in London quietly confident they could upset the odds and take home the vacant English super-featherweight belt.

And others thought so too - one punter reputedly had £4,000 on the Hartlepool fighter who was 6-1 in the betting market.

Smith had done much of the talking in the countdown to the confrontation at the famous York Hall.

But inside 40 minutes at a packed Bethnal Green venue he proved he could back up his words with actions.

The 21-year-old should ditch the ‘Babyface Assassin’ monicker and adopt a nickname from one of sport’s great winners and entertainers - the ‘Crafty Cockney’.

True Eric Bristow threw darts and not punches, but Smith hit the target time and again.

There will be great disappointment for Cope and his team in London’s EastEnd - coach and dad Peter Snr, Alan Temple and Daniel Robinson.

However, he came up against a better boxer on the night, but he can come back from this.

Cope is not short on talent and he proved his bottle by never chucking in the towel.

There were glimpses of his magic, a short right here and a left there, but Smith carried too much speed and class.

All three judges gave it to the young Harrow master by some distance - Ian John Lewis scored it the closest at 99-90, with Jeff Hinds (100-90) and Bob Williams (100-89) deciding that the Londoner had not lost a round.

This reporter thought Cope had done the cleaner work in the last two rounds but no-one could argue that Smith was a very worthy winner.

Cope’s coach - and dad - Peter said: “The best man won, I have absolutely no complaints.

“Our plan was to negotiate the first three or rounds and then try to step it up from there.

“But the kid was always one step ahead, he was too slick.”

There was as many holds as punches in the first round and round two Smith had the better of and likewise in the third when a big left forced Cope onto the ropes.

Cope did land a nice right just before the bell which gained a respectful nod from the Londoner.

The Gus Robinson Developments southpaw tried to come forward but Smith moved and punch to such good effect that the Poolie just could not connect.

Cope did start the sixth with purpose with a right-left-right combination and worked well to the body and Smith was forced onto the back foot.

But it was only temporary, because the smaller man landed big - a left-right combo sending Cope to the canvas in the centre of the square ring.

Cope was up at seven on ref Marcus McDonnell’s count and he saw out the session with no further woes.

Smith continued to shine in the seventh,going well to the body with three punch salvo to the Cope head for good measure.

The eighth too went the way of the blue corner and the former International masters champion needed something spectacular.

Cope did finish with spirit and this reporter thought he did the cleaner work in the last two sessions.

A right-left-left even put Smith back on the ropes in the ninth and the Frank Warren boxer was not as composed and classy as he had been.

The Hartlepool boxer again came forward in the last, three solid right-left combos landing as Smith missed with a number of swings.

This reporter gave the last two rounds to the 23-year-old, but there was no doubt over the 10, the Crafty Cockney was the man.