Martin Ward v Jazza Dickens: Fights for Anth Hardy, Billy Snaith as Hartlepool star Peter Cope waits

Peter Cope is still waiting on an opponent for Friday night’s show at Houghton – but team-mates Anth Hardy and Billy Snaith at least know the rivals they will be facing.

Tuesday, 17th November 2015, 4:38 pm
TEAM GUS: Coaches Alan Temple (left) and Peter Cope Senior (right) with Anth Hardy (23), Peter Cope Junior (24, centre) and Billy Snaith (27) at the Gus Robinson Boxing Gym Picture: DAVID WOOD

The Gus Robinson Developments team will have a three-pronged attack on the undercard of the Martin Ward v Jazza Dickens British super-bantamweight title fight at Rainton Meadows Arena.

Cope, the West View Road gym’s star turn, is looking to bounce back from the loss of his Northern Area lightweight belt defeat at the Summer Rumble at the Stadium of Light.

While he waits on news from the matchmaker, Hardy and Snaith have been handed their opponents for their four-round matches.

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Hardy, coming back from a title loss himself, will take on Derbyshire fighter Lee Connelly, while new signing Snaith will make his debut against Hull’s Paul O’Brien.

If there is such a thing as a good defeat, Hardy experienced it in the summer, losing on a split decision for the vacant English light-welterweight crown.

The 23-year-old Horden southpaw was beaten by home favourite, Joe Hughes, but showed plenty of class in his first 10 round contest and one which was taken at short notice.

Gus Robinson Developments head coach Peter Cope Snr said: “This is an ideal fight for Anth.

“Connelly will give Anth a bit of chew and that’s the sort of contest we want.

“Lee gave it a good go when he boxed Peter at the Borough Hall back in May.

“Anth proved against Hughes that he can fight at title standard – can he win at that level? We will see but he certainly belongs up there.

“He was absolutely brilliant in Bath that night.

“We’ll be looking now for Anth to maintain that sort of form. He was unlucky to be ruled out with an injury after the last bout, but he’s been back in the gym a bit now and he’s looking good.”

Snaith should have the better of O’Brien, who has yet to taste victory in 13 professional appearances.

But as coach Cope Snr points out, a pro debut is not always straightforward.

“Billy’s in great shape,” said Cope. “He’s sparred well with the lads in our gym and he’ll go out there and give it a go.

“But it’s how he handles the nerves, the occasion, the big crowd and all that.

“O’Brien’s record does not look good, but he’s hardly been stopped and he hangs about.

“I don’t know how many times he’s lost 39-38 away from home so he’s competitive.”

For ticket info, contact Peter on 07815991247