Area champion relinquishes belt, hangs up gloves

SNAITH CHAMPION

Northern Area welterweight champion, Billy Snaith, has retired from professional boxing two months after defeating rival Daniel Cope at Hardwick Hall.

Snaith, who turned professional under Peter Cope Snr two years ago has five wins and two titles from five outings in the paid ranks, however, family commitments have prompted the decision to hang up the gloves, that and he’s accomplished all he set out to do.

“I’ve a new baby on the way and really want to spend time more with the family,” explained Snaith.

“I feel it’s the right thing and have achieved everything I set out to do.

“I won the Northern Area title (on April 22 via a points win over Cope) and that’s what I wanted to do; I have no regrets. I’ll look back in years to come and be happy with what I’ve done.

“It hasn’t been a rushed decision, I’ve thought about it for a while, spoke in depth with family and my team. I was happy to become a professional boxer so to do that, and win a couple of titles, I’m happy.”

WRAITH-SNAITH

The clash with Cope was a well-publicised affair, the pair at loggerheads on social media in the months building up to their title fight, with Snaith taking Cope’s title after ten rounds of non-stop action.

Now the dust has settled, and although he promised a rematch, it’s now down to the Boxing Board, and the region’s managers and promoters, as to what happens with the vacant title. Snaith was originally scheduled to oppose Tom Whitfield when he joined Steve Wraith’s camp earlier this year however, due to injury to Whitfield that never materialised.

Cope and Whitfield have faced each other twice already, both earning a win apiece and Snaith believes they should go again, for his relinquished title, adding: “I would like to see Daniel face Tom again, they deserve it.

“What Daniel and I went through was just one of those things. It got heated but it’s over and I hope that, if we see each other at shows, or pass in the street, we can talk.”

Snaith’s Tyneside-based manager Steve Wraith was understanding of the decision to walk away, the Ferryhill fighter giving him his first Area champion after nearly five years on the pro circuit himself.

Snaith and stablemate Jeff Saunders picked up titles on the Hardwick Hall show and Wraith said: “It was no-brainer for me when Billy asked me to manage him and we both knew that he wouldn’t be hanging around.

“I got him two title shots and he was the victor in both. What he’s doing now is admirable and I know he’ll be a miss but family comes first.

“My job is to manage and achieve dreams and it was great while it lasted so I’m sure the boxing family will wish him well.”

Having fought out of two boxing gyms, in Hartlepool and South Durham, Snaith has been round a few people during the couple of years in the paid ranks and extends his thanks to those that have helped him.

“Peter Cope Snr and Alan Temple gave me my break and I’ll always be grateful for that but I’d also like to thanks Tracey and Jeff Saunders, my manager Steve Wraith, Ian Glass for getting me in the shape of my life, Stu Armstrong, Peter Mann, and most importantly my friends and family, we’ve had a blast.”

(Originally published in the Newcastle Chronicle, June 2017)