Tag Archives: Northern Area

Area champion relinquishes belt, hangs up gloves


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.”


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)


Cooper Challenges For Area Light Heavyweight


There’s s tough challenge ahead for Darlington light heavyweight, Steve Cooper, this weekend, when he travels to the Bowlers Arena, Manchester for a Northern Area title battle with Barrow’s Liam Conroy.

It comes off the back of a tough 2016, the Darlington fighter having just two outings, in August and November, the latter in his home-town, from a possible ten. A quiet start to this year as well has, quite possibly, had people ‘forget’ Cooper but the prospect of an Area title fight puts him right back in the public eye.

Conroy is a tough ask, and Cooper is aware he goes in as the underdog but the fight makes for an interesting contest irrespective of individual records.

“This is actually the second time of asking with this fight,” began Cooper.

“We were supposed to meet earlier this year but there was issues with my paperwork so I just kept training in the hope something else would come up.

“I had eight out of ten possible fights cancelled last year but something like this is an opportunity that doesn’t come around often so you have to take it with both hands.

“You have to jump in at the deep end if you want to get anywhere in life and I know this is a tough challenge so will be going in as the underdog.”

Cooper faces an experienced Conroy who, having had a brief spell at Gateshead College under Steve Cranston as a youth, won the WBC Youth Silver strap in June last year with a fourth round stoppage of Ferenc Albert.

Although the Darlington fighter’s most has been six rounds he is prepared to go the full ten in order to bring home the gold and will travel to Manchester Friday afternoon for the weigh-in before heading back the following day ready for his shot.

“I’ve been getting a lot of good sparring over Peterlee with Jonson McClumpha so my fitness levels are good.

“I’ve also been smashing bags and running well so feel I can be a lot better with timing and precision as we (with trainer Mike Hall) are expecting it to go the distance.

“I’m prepared for that eventuality and we’ve covered all aspects as Conroy is a good fighter but we’ve both suffered losses and he’s beatable.

“I’m not going to build up any hopes of a  stoppage win but he has been put on the canvas a good five or six times and I’ve got plenty in the tank to be able to bring back the gold.”


Area Battle Scheduled for Hardwick Hall




Steve Wraith takes his promotional bandwagon to Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield next month with the hotly-anticipated, Winner Takes It All showpiece which will be headlined by a thunderous grudge-match between two former stablemates for the Northern Area title.

Champion Daniel Cope will put his Area title on the line against Billy Snaith. Cope who left Gus Robinson gym to join Neil Fannan stable won the title last year against Gatesheads Tom Whitfield. Snaith now trains at Jeff Saunders gym in Sedgefield but is managed by promoter Wraith.

Since the fight was agreed a few weeks ago both fighters have been in action with Cope grabbing a draw at Rainton Meadows and Snaith winning an International Challenge belt in Newcastle. But both fighters clearly had only one thing on their minds with daggers already being drawn.

Cope said: “I really don’t know where he’s got all this confidence from.

“I always beasted him in sparring but he says he wants to fight me so let’s do it, that’s if he makes weight.

“I saw him on Saturday and he was really overweight so I hope he can make it so I can finish this this off and give him a good hiding.”

Challenger Snaith responded: “ I watched his last fight at Rainton Meadows and I will not be having any sleepless nights.

“He was sloppy and unconditioned and didn’t seem interested. Northern Area Champion? Don’t make me laugh.

“He got lucky against Tom Whitfield and isn’t the strongest of lads and come fight night it’s only me and him in the ring. I’m not getting beat off him and if I did then I’d retire.

“I’m knocking him out make no mistake about it. He doesn’t take the body shot and I can’t see him doing anything to me unless I fall and break my leg and even then I’d still beat him.”

The undercard, which is already starting to take shape, will see Jeff Saunders, undefeated in ten outings, step up to eight rounds, and there will be outings for the other Wraith-managed fighters Neil Hepper and Carl Wilson, along with Phil Jeffries protege Adam Watson and the exciting Jordan King will also feature with more names to be confirmed over the next few weeks.

Tickets for the show at Hardwick Hall on April 22 are on sale now priced at £35 from www.proboxingnewcastlegateshead.com/tickets – Hedge your bets fight fans, you’re in for a bumpy ride and may the best man win!!

Czech Warfare For Snaith


This weekend sees Lewis Pendleton and Steve Wraith combine to bring Fortitude to the Geordie Nation at the Walker Activity Dome.

Headlined by Wraith-managed Billy Snaith in an international challenge belt fight with Czech Republic fighter, Michal Vosyka, as Snaith prepares to oppose former stablemate and divisional rival, Daniel Cope, next month for the Northern Area title.

For promoters Pendleton and Wraith it is an opportunity to give fighters some much needed ring time ahead of what could potentially be a big, title winning year for a number of them.

Pendleton said: “Fighting Chance are delighted to be returning to Newcastle for our joint promotion with Steve Wraith.

“This show is about building opportunities for north east fighters and by working together we can bring plenty of derbies together in the future ensuring that regional fight fans have shows to remember.

“Although we are delighted that we have four of our own fighters on the bill (Kyle Redfearn, Jamie Humble and debutants Darren Reay and Krisy Pilkington all make an appearance) we are also disappointed for Tom (Whitfield) and his team.

This injury will prevent him being on this show but we are looking forward to adding him to an already packed bill in May where we’ll be looking at another title opportunity for him.”


With headline star-in-the-making, undefeated Jeff Saunders, and stablemate Billy Snaith, both topping the bill, promoter-manager Steve Wraith is happy to get two of his stable out early this year as both they, and Neil Hepper, will be looking to bring home the gold over the next twelve months, Carl Wilson not far behind them.

Wraith added: “The division which Billy and Tom are in has great potential to run and run with some fantastic local talent around.

“Unfortunately for Tom he’s picked up an injury and as he knows all too well, this is what happens in boxing, but we wish him well and all the best for his recovery and I’m sure we can match it again later this year.

“For Billy we’ve managed to get him an international challenge title fight (against Vosyka) which is something we had to get as a warm-up for him facing (Dan) Cope at Hardwick next month for the Area title.

“I for one am pleased that we can still put the show on as I need to get both Billy, and Jeff, out ahead of what is looking like a big year for my lads.”

The show, Fortitude, promoted by Lewis Pendleton and Steve Wraith, takes place at the Walker Activity Dome this Saturday night with doors opening at 630pm and first fight scheduled for 730pm;  tickets still available from all fighters on the card.



All systems go for the autumn showdown


Now the English Football League fixtures have been announced Tyneside promoter-manager Steve Wraith can officially announce the date of his ‘Showdown @ St James’ – September 25.

In taking professional boxing back the beating heart of Newcastle and the scene of many a glorious afternoon/evening at the St James Hall venue Steve will look to reignite the fire in the belly of boxing fans across the region.

Headlining at The Bamburgh Suite will be a Northern Area title clash, and rematch, between Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope, the pair renewing rivalries after their non-stop tussle at Rainton Meadows last year.

The show will also see the long-awaited return of Darlington’s Neil Hepper who, after some 18+ months away from the sport, signed a managerial contract late last year and will be looking to show that the move was a decision worth making.

Hepper will be joined by another Darlington fighter making his comeback in Carl Wilson (pending board approval) who signed with Steve Wraith just last month with the pair training at the Saunders camp in Fishburn, County Durham.


(Above – Daniel Cope and Tom Whitfield will go again, this time for the Northern Area strap; Below – Neil Hepper makes his long awaited return)


Steve said: “The attraction of fighting at St James’ has meant that my phones have been very active the past few weeks with lads asking their managers to get them on it.

“I realise that this will be a bumped bill and with Premier League facilities available to the them it’s a show not to be missed. The fans and the fighters will have some good opportunities on the day and I’m hoping this will be the first of many.

“The only disappointment is that, after conversations with Mal Gates and Peter Cope Snr we’ve sadly had to postpone the proposed Northern Area title fight between Lee Mould and Anth Hardy.

“We understand that things happen and what seems a great idea at the start of the year may not be six months later.”

Before then Steve and PBNG take a breather from the regional scene and head to SW London on July 16 for ‘Genesis’ in association with Joey Pyle and John Edwards.

With less than three weeks to go until fight night at the Recreation Centre the card has been nicely stacked and ticket sales are going well with all looking forward to a great night of professional boxing, and hopefully some top quality action.

Tickets for ‘Showdown @ St James’ will be available from fighters, and the PBNG  ticket-site in due course (standard available NOW)


Showdown @ St James – Update


The next Steve Wraith boxing promotion (in association with Sodexo) in the north-east is scheduled for early September and will be held in the Bamburgh Suite, St. James Park.

Headlined by not one, but two Northern Area title fights between Lee Mould and Anthony Hardy, and Tom Whitfield and Daniel Cope, the dinner show will have a plethora of local talent, including several of our own fighters for good measure.

At present however we are awaiting the release of the fixtures for Newcastle United in the Sky Bet Championship in late June, and subsequent TV airings, before the date we have in mind for this dinner show is confirmed.

Steve Wraith would like to thank his sponsors, and the fans, for their continued support on this boxing rollercoaster.


Showdown @ St James – Part One


On Tyneside a rising is brewing as promoter Steve Wraith takes professional boxing to the peak, and will, as of this upcoming late Autumnal nights, be promoting from the bowels of St. James Park, the home of Newcastle United.

Earlier this year it surfaced that Steve and his Wraith Promotions brands, were taking their events to the city centre in a big move which met with applause across the region and fighters clamouring to be on the upcoming showpiece.


(From Camberwell, London, middleweight Mark Rowe, won on the last St. James Hall show in 1967, stopping Roger van Laere in the third round – he would become a British & Commonwealth champion)

As the build-up starts for that first show, the first since New St. James Hall hosted an event in May 1967 where both Mark Rowe and Larry Brown scored stoppage successes; and since September 1949 at the original St James Hall which saw a debut for Chester-Le-Street welterweight Jackie Keough (defeated visiting Leeds fighter Charlie Fawcett on points).

Now, moving forward nearly half a century, the ‘Showdown @ St James’ will see not one, but two Northern Area title fights take place as recently postponed bouts between Anthony Hardy vs. Lee Mould, and Tom Whitfield vs. Daniel Cope as Team Cope and Team Gates go head-to-head.

The latter bout will be an eagerly anticipated rematch after the pair clashed over six rounds at Rainton Meadows in March 2015, Whitfield (Gates) narrowly edged Cope (Cope Snr) in a tight decision.


(Images courtesy of Gary Bivens Photography of the first clash between Whitfield and Cope at Rainton Meadows, March 2015)


Keeping the matter in-cap so to speak, Whitfield and Cope will be joined by stable mates Lee Mould (Gates) and Anthony Hardy (Cope) respectively.

Mould has the greater experience at Championship having won the Area title himself against Craig Dixon in November 2014 and then going the distance for the English (welterweight) strap against Blackpool’s Adam Little seven months later, losing via unanimous decision.


(Above, Lee Mould takes the fight to Craig Dixon; Below, Anthony Hardy celebrates another victory)


Hardy meanwhile lost on a split when travelling to face Joe Hughes for the English (super lightweight) in July 2015 before suffering a shock first round stoppage in his last outing against Sam O’Maison in February for the British Challenge belt.

Both Tom Whitfield and Anthony Hardy have suffered, and are returning from recent injuries, we would like to wish them luck on their comeback trail and to all four title combatants later this year – it’s timeeeee!!!

Pro Boxing Newcastle Gateshead would also like to thank their sponsors, and the fans, for their continued support – long may it continue.

If you are interested in advertising and sponsorship opportunities around the upcoming ‘Showdown @ St James’ later this year see HERE

Maiden defence for Babyface


Twelve months ago Anthony ‘Babyface’ Nelson claimed Commonwealth gold at the Metro Radio Arena when he retired visiting Jamie Wilson at the end of the sixth.

Now, a year on, Nella finally has a date for the defence, at the Copper Box Arena in London (April 30) against undefeated WBO Inter-continental and European champion, Jamie Conlan.

The pair have crossed paths before, but are still to clash in the ring, Nella having had the fight with Conlan fail to materialise on two previous occasions over the past twelve months, a period which has been frustrating for the South Shields-sponsored super flyweight.

An outing in Morpeth against Ian Halsall withstanding, a period beset with drama and a new-born child for the Nelson household it’s been a lengthy waiting game.

Now, alongside his other sponsors in Blacksheep Fitness, Pro Performance, Eastern Valley, I Clean Services, Muscle Relief Massage Therapy and Team Valley Café, the recent addition of South Shields FC as a full-time sponsor means Nella can concentrate on the task ahead knowing his family are looked after. 



“South Shields coming on board as a sponsor threw me a massive lifeline which I’m over the mon with,” began Nella.

“Without the additional sponsorship I really couldn’t have taken the fight (with Conlan) and do what I need to be doing. I’d have been unable to compete properly and easily end up getting hurt so my focus has to have been on working full-time to provide for my family. Now, with this, I can move forward and hopefully it’ll be a fruitful partnership for both sides.”

Having served his apprenticeship in the North-East, winning the Northern Area strap in Sunderland, the English in South Shields and the Commonwealth in Newcastle, Nella and his camp are eager to spread the wings and get on the road, moving away from the small hall shows that serves an early fight career and hits the big stage.

Experiencing the big stage atmosphere when winning the Commonwealth last April certainly whetted the appetite and he’s now looking to quench the thirst, and have a welcome change of scenery.

“I’ve done my fair share and it’s nice to be able to get away for a change,” Nella continued.

“The motivation for these small hall shows is not there anymore and I feel like I’ve done my bit but it gets harder all the time. Steve Wraith and Phil Jeffries have been great to me and I’m grateful for that but it’s time to move on now and fight the big fights, appear in the big venues and do what I know I can do.”

As for opposing Conlan, it’s looking like a case of third time lucky for Nelson who, having stepped things up with Chris Davison and Lee Tiffin enabling him to be in the best shape possible, it’s all systems go and the pressure is seemingly more on the challenger than champion.

“He (Conlan) is in the spotlight and is looking to face (Paul) Butler for the world title so I just have to turn up and do what I have to do, win and bring the title back to Shields with me,” explained Nelson.

“We’ve agreed to face Conlan a couple of times now but it’s never happened for whatever reason. Now it’s on I know I can deal with and handle him and bring the Commonwealth title home.”

South Shields FC-sponsored Anthony Nelson defends his Commonwealth title against undefeated Jamie Conlan on April 30 at the Copper Box Arena in London.



Mackem Mexican has the eye of the tiger


With two outings over the next few months for the ‘Mackem Mexican’ Lee Mould it’s good to see the former Northern Area champion and English challenger back in the ring.

It will have been nearly twelve months since the Mal Gates welterweight prospect last threw a punch, that was in Blackpool when involved in a barn-storming war with their home fighter, Adam Little, narrowly going down after ten rounds of non-stop action.

Prior to that Mould claimed the Northern Area strap against local rival Robert Dixon, that was in November 2014, and they’ve been his only two fights over a lengthy period. Mould has not rested on his laurels though and now, with the bit between his tough, is gunning for first, a six rounder in Dunston next month, then, in late May, an Area title clash with Horden’s Anth Hardy.

Now, with former professional Paul Charters aiding all of Mal Gates’ lads in the Harton & Westoe gym, Mould and his stable-mates are raring to go.

“It has been really hard trying to get Lee back out there,” admitted the esteemed Mal Gates.

“Now though it’s great to be able to get him out a couple of times in quick succession but he’s just one of those kids that, when he gets a date he’s extremely focussed and gets his game face on, you can see it in him.

“He had two big fights as both Dixon and Little were hard outings for him so, although it’s been difficult, it has been a good break for him as well. He’s been in the gym though, they all have, and they’re a great bunch of lads.

“For this one it will be a good six rounds that we’ll look to get under his belt and give him something to work at. There’s been a couple of names given to Mick Marsden so now we just have to wait and see what comes back.”


In defeating Dixon for the welterweight title it was a hard decision to relinquish it but relinquish it he has and stablemate Tom ‘TNT’ Whitfield will challenge Daniel Cope for the vacant strap on the same card; Mould though will challenge Hardy for the lighter, super welterweight strap, a few months later.

“We (Gates and Mould) spoke in depth beforehand about the decision to relinquish the title and it makes sense to do it this way, more so with two great fights ahead now (Whitfield vs. Cope and Mould vs. Hardy),” continued Gates.

“(Anth) Hardy is the most improved fighter in the region right now and his loss earlier this week was a fluke of that we are sure. We know what he can bring and will take nothing for granted.

“The gym is bouncing and the lads are working really hard; Paul (Gidney) has a great attitude and is pushing really hard and Tom, he’s an absolute pleasure to work with but with Lee, we’ll mix up his sparring again and have Lewis Ritson and Josh Leather coming for sparring soon – we need to mix it up to keep the lads on their toes.”

Sponsored by Westcott Coatings Mould, as well as Nella and Whitfield, have their nutrition handled by Pro Performance’s Christopher Davison, an arrangement which suits Gates as the relationship between gym and nutritionist is lengthy and fruitful.

“Chris is helping the lads great with their nutrition and their diet is always on top form,” Gates added.

“Lee and Tom are both ready for this and the work Chris does with them continues to show through.”

Tickets for Steve Wraith’s next show, ‘Collision Course’ sponsored by Grosvenor Casino and Ideala Health are now on sale via the PBNG ticket LINK which takes place on March 18 at Dunston’s Lancastrian Suite.


PBNG Announces Friday Fight Night




Promoter Steve Wraith and Pro Boxing Newcastle Gateshead can officially announce their next professional boxing show.

Darlington’s Dolphin Centre will host, on the night of Friday 13th May ‘Friday Fight Night’ and which will headline a Northern Area title clash between the ‘Horden Hitman’ Anthony Hardy; 8-2 against the ‘Mackem Mexican’ Lee Mould; 7-1-1 (2).

Also appearing will be the returns of Darlington duo Neil Hepper; 6-4 in his first professional outing since November 2014, and Lloyd Creighton 1-2 who returns after over seven years away from the sport. Both Hepper and Creighton are managed by Steve Wraith.

‘Friday Fight Night’ is sponsored by Grosvenor Casino, anyone else wishing to take advantage of our sponsorship opportunities please email petermann78@hotmail.com asap.

Tickets for the show will be on sale soon via this website, and the fighters on the show.