Sedgefield light-welterweight Bradley Saunders has been handed another chance on a top bill as Frank Warren continues to build momentum behind his fledgling career.
A matter of days after winning a first professional title, the 28-year-old will face an unnamed opponent on the Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora bill, taking place on July 26 in Manchester.
Promoter Frank Warren was ringside to witness his charge score a destructive knockout over experienced Finn Viile Piispanen, picking up a minor WBO strap for less than a round’s work.
The ex-GB Olympian and Commonwealth Games silver medallist moved his ledger to ten victories with the win over Piispanen, eight finishing inside the scheduled distance.
Piispanen represented a huge step-up in class for Saunders. The 30-year-old knocked down European champion Michele di Rocco as recently as last year and has registered a win over Saunders’ domestic rival Lenny Daws.
Before two recent appearances on Stuart Hall world title undercards, the North East fighter was fighting mainly on small hall shows as he learnt the ropes in the professional ranks.
But promoter Warren obviously feels now is the time the level of oppositon up and eventually make him a headline act of his own North East arenas.
Saunders is a huge ticket-seller, which is a known advantage to boxers. Should he continue to grow his own fan base, Warren is certainly more inclined to shell out on world title bids.
His rise has been accelerated since a move to the MGM Marbella Gym. Under the tutelage of Seamus Macklin, brother of middleweight world title contender Matthew, five knockdowns have occurred in two spiteful performances. The gym is now renowned for excellent facilities and top-class sparring, with the likes of Derry Mathews and Matthew Macklin himself available to learn from.
Saunders caused controversy among the national media when representing Team GB at the 2008 Olympics in his amateur days. After a surprise second round defeat to previous foe Alexis Vastine, he
The Stockton-born fighter turned professional in 2011 and won his first fight in the paid ranks in February 2012, knocking out journeyman Jason Nesbitt in the third round.
An already stellar undercard is in place for Fury-Chisora II, with Saunders’ addition ensuring a top-class night of British boxing at the Phones 4 U Arena.
Billy Joe Saunders clashes for the European middleweight title, Liam Smith defends his British light-middleweight strap against Nav Mansouri, Gary Sykes puts his British featherweight strap on the line against Liam Walsh and Derry Mathews’ British lightweight crown goes on the line against Terry Flanagan.
The winner of the main event is also likely to be an opponent to unified heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.
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