Newest signing Bradley Saunders eased to a six-round victory over Ivans Levickis on his Matchroom debut.
Bradley Saunders 11(8)-0-0 was able to win via unanimous decision against Latvia’s number one light-welterweight, Ivans Levickis 13(12)-15(7)-0 in a six-round match-up, being taken the distance for only the third time in his professional career as he moved up to 11 wins.
Saunders seemed understandably tentative on a high-profile card and was trying at times to rush the fight; after a few rounds, he was able to use his jab and ability to outclass his opponent over six rounds to remain undefeated.
Post-fight, promoter Eddie Hearn alluded that Saunders will be fighting in his native Newcastle in the near future.
Referee John Latham scored it 60-54 and Saunders admitted to a little frustration to having been taken to the final bell by the 22-year-old Latvian.
“To be fair, I’m always looking for the stoppage, but I’ve only really been in the gym the last few weeks,” said the Sedgefield light-welterweight.
“He was very tough and he could punch.” Promoter Hearn was not upset at the night’s work from his new signing.
“Tonight it was short notice that was his first fight in almost six months,” he said at ringside in an interview with Sky Sports Pay-per-view.
“It was great to get him out and we expect big things in 2015.”
The light-welterweight puncher was walked to the ring by pal, James Arthur who came to support the MGM fighter on his ring return.
The X-Factor winner and number one artist carried the Sedgefield boxer's WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight title to the ring.
On the undercard, former Olympic hero Anthony Joshua stopped Michael Sprott inside the first round of their heavyweight clash.
James DeGale produced an explosive third-round stoppage over Marco Antonio Periban at the Echo Arena.
His opponent had never been stopped but DeGale changed all that with a ferocious assault, landing two huge lefts to finish the Mexican.
Another super-middle, Callum Smith, dominated Nikola Sjekloca over 12 rounds to successfully defend his WBC international crown in a world title eliminator.
George Groves was less impressive, though he did stop America’s Dennis Douglin in seven rounds.
Earlier, Scott Quigg defended his WBA super-bantamweight title for the fifth time with a wide points win over Hidenori Othake, from Japan.
To follow Bradley Saunders on Twitter click here @bradsaunders86
Bradley would like to thank his sponsors; webuyanyhouse.com, ESRG Group, Muscle World HQ, his trainer Seamus Macklin and his team at the MGM Gym Marbella, plus his manager, Daniel Kinahan and PR Manager, Tim Rickson