Top light-welterweight talent Bradley Saunders talks to 4c Sports Media
about his injuries, next fight and ambitions to bring a world title back to the North East of England.
Speaking from his home in Marbella, Spain, here's what the Beijing 2008 Olympian had to say, "My injury is brilliant, to be fair, I've been in the gym today punching, I wouldn't say hard punching.
As for the injury, to be quite honest with you, it was done over last year but what I was doing, I was fighting and that's why I was having such a long break after because my hand was always swelling up and I couldn't really use it and then I had that fight [against Stephane Benito] and after the doctor looked at it and he told me that if I fight again and it goes wrong then I probably won't be able to box again.
It was the same operation that I had on my left hand and it doesn't look the best, I've seen a better hand in a hospital bin! But it's brilliant, Mike Hayton's fixed it and it's brilliant."
On making the transition from Box Nation to Matchroom Boxing, he explained his reasons for the switch, "I think it's the Sky Sports thing and all of the publicity side of it. I was always looked after by Frank Warren, to be fair, but the bigger my profile gets, the bigger the fights I can get involved with. It's a business, it's not a sport no more, in the amateurs it was a sport and I was enjoying it, and now I'm all settled and I'm older, it's a business now and I've got to think about number one which is myself and my family."
Saunders was due to challenge Commonwealth light-welterweight champ, Dave Ryan last April but was thwarted by his hand injury. Instead, the 29-year old watched the on-form Essex boxer, John Wayne Hibbert get his crack at the title on the bumper Rule Britannia show at London's O2 Arena on May 30th.
"I respect Dave [Ryan] as a man and a fighter, over the moon when he fought the other day, the person he fought mentioned my name a few times which I don't really like hearing, but obviously Dave done his thing. I want to be in good fights and I think the fight now will have more people watch it just off the back of what he's done, not me."
Ryan picked himself up off the canvas twice to rally back and retain his Commonwealth title by stopping Hibbert in the ninth round.
"Just to crawl up off the floor twice, I know he's been down a few times but he always gets back up, cracks on and continues and nine times out of ten the lad's winning isn't he so full respect to him and I just wish him all of the luck in the future."
After being forced to sit on sidelines for many months, Saunders is eyeing his ring return in the near future, "I'm looking at September time to be 100 per cent, I could push it and maybe get out before but do you know what, I don't want to push anything now, I just want to come back properly and just fight, fight, fight and put my foot down and see where it gets me."
The Sedgefield boxing star is a part of the growing setup in the MGM Gym Marbella but for Saunders, it's not the glamorous lifestyle that attracted him to the affluent, sought-after destination, "I'm a North East lad, suppose you can't take the boy out of the North East, I love fighting there. The reason for being in Spain is just to concentrate solely on my boxing, no distractions, crack on. I won't be boxing for the rest of my life, it's only a really short career and I'm better off making the most of it now. I'll always, always go back home but if I've done my job now then I'll secure my family and myself."
Eddie Hearn first unveiled his new signing to the British public in the Autumn of last year and immediately spoke of his big ambitions for Bradley to fill St. James' Park in a world title fight, a prospect that Bradley is still seeking, "Without a doubt, I got a hell of a reception up there the last time I was up there and I didn't even fight. My little brother's kicked off now, our Jeff [Jeff Saunders Jr. also signed to Matchroom], and he's flying, so I got a good reception and I liked meeting all the fans and getting our photos taken but I've gotta do that, so that's the one I want, basically, if I get a shot then I wanna bring a world title back to the North East."
To follow Bradley Saunders on Twitter click here @bradsaunders86
Bradley would like to thank his sponsors ESRG Group webuyanyhouse.com Muscle World HQ Cam-era The Sofa & Bed Store
and his team at the MGM Gym Marbella
, plus manager Daniel Kinahan
and PR Manager Tim Rickson
Listen to the interview here...