Saunders – “I would walk to Scotland to fight Willie Limond”
Boxing pundits tend to avow traits such as passion and confidence as vital to a fighter in ensuring the fulfillment of his talent, though rarely is happiness made mention of. It is perhaps an under-appreciated characteristic, though speaking with undefeated junior welterweight Bradley Saunders on a quiet Sunday evening it is clear that I am conversing with a man who is content with where he is right now.
Having moved out to Spain to train at Matthew Macklin’s gym in Marbella, Saunders is working hard ahead of his next outing in Newcastle on March 29th.
“I’ve never been so fit – I’m in top shape. I’ve got my family out here with me and the gym is brilliant.”
The change in scenery was not to do with the bad British weather however, as Saunders admitted difficulty focusing on his career while living back home. “It was only going to go one way…I wouldn’t have trained as hard. There were just too many distractions”.
Needless to say, with those distractions out of mind Saunders is excited about his upcoming fight. He is currently sparring with Peter McDonagh, while Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell and former Team GB boxing captain Thomas Stalker will join him soon in preparing for what he believes will be a “big name opponent” opposite him in the ring next month. Making a point not to name names, Saunders nonetheless stated his pleasure at the choice of opponent, which will be announced formally by Frank Warren at a press conference this Tuesday.
Regarding the setting of the fight, which will be on the undercard to IBF super bantamweight champion Stuart Hall’s first world title defense against fellow northerner Martin Ward, Saunders confirmed his satisfaction to be appearing in front of his home crowd again.
“I always like fighting in the Northeast. I sold 1,500 tickets last time out, and my following is getting bigger. I want to bring things back to the Northeast rather than take them away”. Having sparred Stuart Hall as young amateurs, Saunders will also be proud to see him defend his title against Ward. “It’s absolutely a 50-50 fight, but it’s good because no matter who wins the title is staying in the Northeast”.
With eight wins, six of which came within the scheduled distance, Saunders is keen to kick on this year and took note of this past Saturday’s British junior welterweight title clash between Curtis Woodhouse and Darren Hamilton.
“I’d like to have four fights this year and I’ve got my eyes on the British title. I’m happy as larry for Curtis Woodhouse because I don’t really like Darren Hamilton to be honest, but I would like to fight for that title”.
It was also pointed out to Saunders that Scotsman Willie Limond is the current incumbent of the Commonwealth title, and the response received was unexpectedly forward. “I would walk to Scotland to fight Willie Limond for that title”.
And so it appears that Bradley Saunders ticks all the aforementioned boxes. He is content and happy, sure, but also passionate and confident in his own ability. 2014 could be the year where Saunders starts to cash in on those traits.
Saunders next fight takes place at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle on Saturday, March 29th. Tickets are currently available.