Brad Strand steps up to eight rounds to take him into title fights next
Undefeated super-bantamweight prospect Brad Strand (9-0, 3KO) is preparing for his 10th professional bout on Saturday, March 25, at the Telford International Centre, which will serve as his first time stepping up to eight rounds.
In his fifth live appearance on BT Sport, he shares the spotlight with teammate Andrew Cain (10-0, 9KO), who co-headlines the show in a championship clash against risky challenger Ionut Baluta (15-4, 3KO).
Strand’s last performance was at the same venue in Telford, scoring a six-round points win over winning fighter Darwin Martinez, a tough Nicaraguan with six knockouts from seven wins, but he put on a classy, controlled showing behind a snappy jab, that included a first-round knockdown.
The 25-year-old, trained by Paul Stevenson, looked ahead to his first fight of the year at the familiar venue that holds 5,000 fans, “It’s my third fight there at Telford, but I’m not arsed where they are to be honest, just as long as I’m fighting.”
Strand’s last four fights have all been six-rounders, but now he begins 2023 with a step-up to eight rounds for the first time in his three-and-a-half year pro career. In 2022, he clocked up 18 rounds over his three bouts and now looks for the next natural progression on the ladder as he gets ready to challenge for titles.
“Obviously my first eight-rounder,” he begun, “Just looking forward to it, to be honest, hopefully a little a step-up in opponent and then straight after that I’ll be looking to get into title [fights].”Strand signed contracts with promoter Frank Warren in 2020, along with Everton Red Triangle teammates Andrew Cain and Nick Ball, who have both gone on to win titles.
WBC Silver featherweight champion Ball stole the spotlight on Tyson Fury’s undercard at Wembley Stadium when he destroyed Isaac Lowe in six bloody rounds, then headlined in his last fight at the York Hall.
Now Cain gets set to headline his first show, in a second defence of the WBC International Silver title that he both won and defended with two first-round KO wins.
Strand inevitably draws comparisons to his Queensberry Promotions stablemates, who are both slightly ahead in their careers at this moment in time, but he is fully focused on his own journey, “I’m just me, and I feel like the opponents I’ve been in with in six-round fights… I would’ve went 10 with them but they wouldn’t have went 10 with me.
“I’m not that sort of fighter who is just gonna go out and lay it all on, that’s just not me, I’ve got me own style.
“That’s why I want a little step-up in opponent ‘cos that’ll just bring the best out of me then; I know how good I am and I know what type of style I’ve got. I’d rather fight someone who is coming to beat me and trying to win to bring the best out in me.
“In the end, people will say how good I am, I’ve just got to keep fighting and stay busy.”
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