Hartlepool boxer Daniel Cope beats Tom Whitfield to win Northern Area title

Daniel Cope (right) lands a left against Tom Whitfield
Daniel Cope (right) lands a left against Tom Whitfield

Daniel Cope clinched the vacant Northern Area welterweight title with an eighth-round stoppage over Tom Whitfield.

The Hartlepool boxer trailed the unbeaten South Shields fighter by one point at Ashington when he felled he 29-year-old with a big right.

Whitfield was up by the count of seven but unsteady, prompting referee Andrew Wright to wave it off as Cope avenged a points defeat to his rival and North-East neighbour in the spring of 2015.

It proved an exciting climax to a tremendous scrap which could have gone either way.

Whitfield had started the better, winning the opening two sessions but Cope rallied with a big fourth and won the fifth and seventh, at least on this reporter's very unofficial scorecard.

I had it level going into the eighth and when Cope applied the pressure with a left-right combination, Tom's legs seemed to dip and when Dan connected with a clubbing right, the ex-Birtley ABC ,man went down in his owner corner.

He did climb off the canvas but Mr Wright's decision looked a fair one.

One of the other displays of the night came from Cope's stablemates, Tommy Ward.

The Neil Fannan and Dave Garside British super-bantamweight title hopeful clinched only the second stoppage win of his career by knocking out Hungary's former Olympian Norbert Kalucza in round four with a terrific left hook to the body.

Thornley's Darren Surtees opened up the Fighting Chance-promoted show with a points win over Scotland-based Pole, Marek Laskowski.

There was another win for Peterlee trainer, David Binns when Trimdon and Crimdon boxer Jay Hughes, outpointed Sheffield fighter Kas Hussain over four rounds.

Darlington's Henry Thomas rivalled Cope and Ward for the finish of the night when he stopped Miklos Szilagyi in the first round of their contests.

Lewis Ritson provided delight for the Northumberland faithful when he won for the fifth time inside the distance when Belfast's James Gorman retired after four one-sided rounds.

There were points wins for Army heavyweight TK Valou and Newcastle's Dasi Razaq against Christian Adjoufack and Casey Blair.