By Niall Doran
It is with great honour that we at Doran’s Boxing Blog are joined today by one of the UK’s brightest boxing prospects and the fighting pride of Newcastle, light welterweight contender – Bradley Saunders.
For readers of DBB, Bradley is undefeated in his professional campaign to date with a record 11-0 (KO 8) and had a decorated amateur boxing career where he won a silver medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, gold at the 2009 European Union Amateur Boxing Championships and bronze at the 2007 World Amateur Boxing Championships.
On April 4th he challenges Derby’s Dave Ryan for the Commonwealth light welterweight title in front of his home crowd at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle. The stacked Matchroom bill will be headlined by heavyweight sensation and Olympic Gold medalist Anthony Joshua which will be shown live on Sky Sports.
Bradley, thank you very much for your time during your training camp in MGM Marbella. How are preparations going and how do you find training abroad in a better climate?
“Brilliant mate, I’m on track, weight coming down nicely, that was always the biggest problem. Listening to Ian Glass and what he tells me and the weight is coming off so I’m feeling the benefits already. It’s nice in this climate, doing some good runs. I’m training with Derry Mathews, Tyrone Nurse, Thomas Stalker, Joe Selkirk, Peter McDonagh, are all out here. We all talk so we bounce off each other, it’s a good atmosphere in the gym, it’s really good.”
MGM Marbella is quickly becoming a major name in world boxing for the caliber and quality of it’s fighters and trainers. Since hooking up with trainer Seamus Macklin what improvements do you feel he’s brought to your game so far?
“To be quite honest, I’ve gone over to Oliver Harrison in Manchester. I expect to be brought on leaps and bounds, I’m hooking up with him on 22nd February. He’ll be in my corner for the Hull fight on 7th March. I’m mixing in with Danny Vaughn and the rest of the MGM boys, I’m still part of the team. My manager Daniel recommended him to me and I thought he was brilliant.”
“There’ll be more technical work and I’ll get a lot more one-to-one time. He’s taken Martin Murray to world level so no reason why he can’t take me to the same. Rocky Fielding – every fight he’s getting better so I think that he’s perfect for me. I’m a big part of MGM, I’ve got all my family out here. There’s enough sparring there in Manchester for me, I can get between both gyms for world class sparring so I can get the best of both worlds.”
You’ve been a professional fighter now for over 2 years, what were some of the biggest transitions and differences you felt when turning over from the amateurs and becoming a professional boxer?
“Trying not to get hit. I’m lucky enough that I hit hard and you get more time in the pro’s but it’s a hard game. I did well in the amateurs but I’ve never fallen in the professionals.”
Your known to have a really exciting fighting style and particularly go to the body beautifully with wicked shots. You have many attributes as a quality fighter but if you were to pick just one, what do you feel is your best strength as a fighter?
“My judgement of distance, people say my power but I think I’ve got a good distance which you can’t really teach. I’m rangy and I’m hard to hit.”
From a promotional point of view since signing with Eddie Hearn’s ever growing and impressive Matchroom stable back November 2014, how have you found them to work with so far?
“Brilliant mate, they’re very professional and everything that they’ve said they’ll do, they’ve done. I asked them for a title and they got it for me straight away. They’re very professional which is what I’m about.”
Your opponent on April 4th, Dave Ryan has mixed in very good class with fights against the likes of Paul McCloskey (who he beat) and points defeats to Sam Eggington and Curtis Woodhouse. How do you rate him as a fighter and what problems if any, do you see him presenting in Newcastle on April 4th? Would you make a prediction as to how you think the fight will go?
“And Tyrone Nurse! Oh, he’s very good. He hasn’t beaten the kids he’s beaten without being a good fighter. I’ve got a lot of respect for him but I know what to do to deal with him on the night.”
Without looking past April 4th, what are some of your long term ambitions in the ring and outside of it in the future?
“Being number one. It’s too hard a sport to not want to be the number one and that’s where I want to be.”
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