Former GB Olympian Bradley Saunders has a tough test on his hands against Frenchman Renald Garrido (14-11-1) on September 19th at the Liverpool Olympia on the undercard of Stephen Smith’s World title eliminator on Sky Sports.
8 round test
The 32-year-old travelling opponent from Marseille has never been stopped even after sharing the ring with big-punching WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight champion Jack Catterall (12-0), who has halted eight of his 12 opponents to date.
“I know he’s never been stopped,” remarked Saunders, speaking from his Marbella home. “He comes forward, comes for a fight and doesn’t allow anyone to put him on the back foot.”
The 29-year-old added, “He went the distance with Fedchenko who beat DeMarcus Corley to become European champ and he floored Robbie Davis Junior in their fight.”
The Frenchman, nicknamed ‘Le Lion’, recently took former WBO European light-welterweight champion Serhiy Fedchenko (33-3) into the trenches with a mixed decision in New York in May this year, losing by just two points on two of the judges’ scorecards, the third official ruling as a draw.
Four of Garrido’s last five fights have been eight-round contests whereas Saunders has only completed eight rounds once, back in November 2012 against Irish champion and MGM stablemate Peter McDonagh (24-28-1).
“I’m good to go the distance, been doing eight rounds with Derry Mathews here at the MGM so I’m doing them easy enough so should be good to go with anyone,” said the 12 time national amateur champion now signed to Matchroom.
Injury frustration in the past
The light-welterweight ace from County Durham has been out of action since injuring his right hand ahead of a scheduled Commonwealth title fight with former champion Dave Ryan who handed over his Commonwealth and WBC International belts to challenger John Wayne Hibbert on September 12th at the O2 Arena in London after developing a back injury in the 10th round of their third fight in the series, now scored at 2-1 to Ryan.
Now training with MGM’s top trainer Danny Vaughan, the undefeated 140-pounder lives and trains in Marbella and has not fought for six months, the last performance resulting in a fifth round stoppage over another tough Frenchman in Stephane Benito (22-18-3) at the Ice Arena in Hull on March 7th.
Benito from Var hadn’t been stopped in nine fights and nine years until he met the hard-hitting Sedgefield boxing star in the ring that night, leaving with two broken ribs.
Saunders said of his return to the ring, “I’m in a good place now with my boxing, everything’s good. I’ve been out for obvious reasons but I’ll just listen to Danny Vaughan in the corner, I’d be happy to go the distance, I’m not bothered.
“I don’t need to be proving anything to anyone, as long as I do the right things for my coach and for me, then I’ll be happy.”
Future plans + undercard
Of his future plans, he hoped, “I’d like to fight twice more this year but it’s down to whatever Eddie Hearn and my manager Daniel Kinahan have in store for me, I’ve already said I’ll fight anybody.”
In the main event, Stephen Smith (22-1) will face Devis Boschiero (37-3-1) which will be a final eliminator for the IBF World Super Featherweight title, currently held by Jose Pedraza (20-0).
The Italian known as ‘Boom Boom’ has already fought for a World title, earning his shot at the WBC World Super Featherweight title in November 2011 after reaching 30 fights unbeaten. He was edged out via a controversial split decision against Takahiro Ao in Tokyo.
Undefeated Scotty Cardle (18-0) provides the chief support with a maiden defence of his British lightweight title and faces a tough test against the dangerous Welshman and former British super-featherweight champion Gary Buckland (30-6).
Manchester’s unbeaten middleweight prospect Marcus Morrison (6-0) and Liverpool lightweight Sean Dodd (9-1) are also in action.
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