Merthyr Tydfil

European Middleweight Champion




In a promising start to his professional boxing career Kerry Hope reeled off eleven straight wins. Unfortunately, his next fight led to his first defeat when he was stopped in the last round of an eight round bout with Manchester's Matthew Hall. Hope didn't fight again for another eleven months until February 2009 when he shared a ring with Abercynon's Taz Jones in a Welsh light-middleweight title fight. Again, Hope came unstuck, inside the distance, as he went down to a fourth round stoppage - due to a cut caused by a clash of heads.

Within months Hope split from his stable (Enzo Calzaghe gym in Newbridge) and made a surprising move to America. While in the states he had two fights; winning one in L.A. and losing an attempt at the vacant WBF International super middleweight title in Minnesotta.

The Merthyr man returned home but didn't fight for over a year, before his return to the ring in March 2011 with a four round points decision over Dean Walker. Another 3 wins on the bounce (all on points) - one an eliminator for the British middleweight title - led to an unexpected shot at the European middleweight title.

Poland's Grzegorz Proksa was holder of the belt with an impressive record of 18 stoppages in 26 wins and no losses. The champion was a tough, experienced, hard-hitting fighter who liked to get the job done early. Up to this point Hope had recorded 16 wins, with 3 losses, and was not expected to trouble the champ. The fight was taken at just a month's notice with Hope confident of upsetting the odds, as he commented after the fight, "I suppose they thought matchmaking Proksa and myself would be an easy match up for him, an easy defence. But I had other intentions and I trained hard. Getting the phone call about the fight there was no chance I was going to turn it down. It didn't really bother me that anyone believed I weren't going to get it. As long as I believed in myself and my trainer believed in me I knew I was capable of pulling the upset off."

Hope did indeed "pull the upset off" with a hard fought points decision, taking the European title with scores of 115-112, 114-113, 114-114 - a majority decision win for the Welshman. Having suffered more than his share of disappointments in his career Merthyr's Kerry Hope was now European middleweight champion.

But it wasn't to last.................

A rematch took place just four months later (July 2012) with the Pole taking no chances of under-estimating his opponent this time and re-claimed his title in 8 rounds.

Three wins and two losses later Hope made a second attempt at winning a Welsh title, taking on Cardiff's Frankie Borg, in March 2014, for the middleweight belt. Hope was out of luck again as he lost by a 2 point margin, 95-97.

As with his first failed attempt at a Welsh title it wasn't long before the Merthyr fighter was on his travels again. This time he turned up in Australia. To date (2017) the globetrotting Welshman has had mixed fortunes Down Under, recording 2 wins and 2 losses.

Limited Edition print


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