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
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
International super middleweight title
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.
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
But it wasn't to
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.