Sam Best and Jeff Saunders both come through tests on Tyneside

Published On Tuesday, May 5, 2015By

Sam Best required points to beat Steve Cooper in a local derby but Jeff Saunders was explosive again winning by KO in 1:39 of round one.

Newcastle boxer is Sam Best delighted he took the risk of fighting Teesside’s Steve Cooper in just his second professional fight, claiming he learnt a lot more in his win on Friday than in his first fight. The Tyne-Tees boxing derby was part of a three-fight card put on by Relentless Promotions on Friday night with Best coming out victorious over the previously undefeated in two Cooper on points. Best said: “I really enjoyed that. It was good going the distance. It was something new for me. “I can go away and take a lot from this fight. I can take a lot more from it than what I can my debut. “I want to challenge myself all the time. I don’t see the point in fighting journeymen. Yes it makes your record look good on paper, but when people look back at who you fought they realise they’re nobodies. “Steve Cooper’s an undefeated fighter and I beat him. Hats off to him, what a tough cookie. I thought I might have had him out at one stage but it’s another great fight and another great win.” Best was a deserving winner on the night against his Darlington-based opponent. He dominated off a long jab in the first round, but switched tactics in the second and starting throwing bigger and wilder shots. He took a few shots as a result of that, but it’s certainly a fan-friendly approach to have. Best said: “That was part of the game plan. In the second round we thought we’d go and drop a couple of bombs. “I couldn’t do anything in this sport without my fans. They’re here every time and hopefully there’ll be more for the next one.” His next outing is likely to be Phil Jeffries’ Summer Rumble show at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light. Sending his army of fans home happy, show closer Jeff Saunders was also victorious in his second professional outing.
 Jeff Saunders (L) in action with Sandor Racz
Jeff Saunders (L) in action with Sandor Racz
There’s some hype surrounding the Sedgefield youngster as he begins his journey in the paid ranks, and to be fair he’s lived up to it, and more, in his first two outings. After exploding on to the scene with a first-round KO at Newcastle’s Metro Radio Arena last month, he needed less than a round again on Friday against Ivailo Boyanov. It took Saunders, the younger brother of popular pro boxer Bradley, just 99 seconds to inflict so much punishment on Boyanov that the Bulgarian visitor retreated to his corner, took a knee and failed to make the count. It came after Saunders stalked him down before pinning him on the ropes and unleashing a blistering attack – displaying amazing hand speed in the process. After the fight Saunders said: “He couldn’t handle my power in there. He was a decent opponent. He’d won the Bulgarian national championships at amateur so on paper that was a decent fight for me. “That was meant to be a good test and it just goes to show. I’m taking things one step at a time, taking the right fights and I’ll get to where I want to be when I do. There’s no rush for me. “I don’t want to get to the top too quickly and have mistakes that I could have ironed out four fights ago. I want to get everything perfect.” The next glimpse of this exciting prospect will be on July 18 at the Manchester Arena on another big Matchroom Boxing card. There was one surprise on the card in between Best and Saunders’ wins as Newbiggin’s Lewis Scott could not return to winning ways against Simone Lucas. Returning after a shoulder injury in his last fight, Scott lost a tight encounter to the visitor after a slow start left him needing too much to prevail on points.

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