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British Scene: Interview with Bradley Saunders

Former amateur star and hot prospect Bradley Saunders talks to Dave Oakes about his upcoming bout. The light-welterweight takes on Krzysztof Szot on November 22 in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.

Bradley Saunders
Bradley Saunders
Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Hi, Bradley, how are you?

I'm really good mate, training hard, really hard to be honest.

You're headlining a show in front of your home town fans for the first time next month, how proud a moment for you is that?

I am proud. It's probably one of the proudest moments I've had in boxing to be quite honest, alongside me going to the Olympics and World Championships. It's all I've ever wanted to do, to be in the north-east and not take things away from the north-east, I've always wanted to bring things back. There are a lot of boxers that take things away from the area, whereas I don't see the point, I want to bring things to my area and obviously build it up.

Is there any news on an opponent yet?

Yeah, I've got a tough opponent, a really tough opponent to be honest, Krzysztof Szot from Poland.

He fought Tyrone Nurse a couple of months ago didn't he?

Yeah, that's him, mate. He fought Tyrone Nurse at four days notice or something. He fought Chad Gaynor with a weeks notice, obviously he's fighting myself with four weeks notice, so I'm saying the north-east is in for a good fight. I'm definitely in for a good fight.

I've heard there's been a change of trainer for this fight, how did that come about and how's training being going for this fight?

Training's been brilliant. In my last fight I was with the same trainer I'm with now (he split with Peter Copeland prior to his previous fight with Gareth Heard and set up camp in Marbella) and I wasn't so bad then. The north-east's a hell of a place and I love the place to bits but there's a little 5% of people up there who you just don't need to be around. It doesn't matter where you go or what you do, it doesn't matter who you are or what walk of life, there's always that 5%.

You'll know yourself, there'll be 5% of people you can't be doing with, so the only way to battle on was to come over to Spain, do my job and if I'm working away and sticking to my training there's no happier place to be. The gym, the MGM gym in Marbella, is second to none.

You've suffered form hand injuries in the past, is that a problem that's solved now?

Yeah, yeah, yeah. In the end they operated on my left hand, it's unbelievable, I could punch over a wall. Every boxer, every high level boxer will have problems with their hands, it's just how we deal with it. I'll deal with it as best I can and obviously push on through my fights.

You were a stand-out amateur with nearly 200 fights, how's the transition to the pro ranks been?

I think it suits me more to be quite honest because you've got more time and it's more relaxed. The amateurs to me were more of a sprint, everything was so dramatic and fast. That's your thing, you just went, whereas it's a professional job now. When they give me twelve rounds, I've got thirty-six minutes to fight which is a long long time, so I'm looking forward to it. My main assets in boxing are that I'm heavy handed, I don't let fights go the distance, they're two good things to have as a professional.

You're also a cracking body puncher, is that something you work on?

Yeah. I'd always done that when I was in the amateurs before. I don't tend to just go for the head, I do vary it, I hit the body as much as I hit the head and I always have, even in the amateurs I've always done that as everyone knows.

With the light-welterweight division looking wide open, how soon do you want to get into the title mix at British level?

I'd say a few more fights, with a few more fights I'll be there. This fight here against Krzysztof Szot, I mean he fought Tyrone Nurse, Tyrone Nurse has had twenty-seven fights. He fought a man in his last fight, Chad Gaynor, he's had seventeen fights or something, and they're pushing on for British level, you know what I mean. I'm fighting him now in my seventh fight, so it just goes to show that when I beat him then I'm up there.

He's also fought Nate Campbell hasn't he?

Yeah. He's fought Nate Campbell so he's been in with them, he's been in with a lot of names. It'll be ideal to me to get through this one, gain a lot of experience out of it, learn a lot, and then look at the future. Which I think, if I do get through this contest and do it in style, looking good, the future's bright.

And hopefully a British title shot around the Newcastle area?

That would be unbelievable. That's what I want. I want to bring a title back to the north-east, and when I'm winning them, I'd like people to come and fight me up there.

Thanks for taking the time to talk to BLH and good luck for the 22nd.

Much appreciated. Thank you.

e-mail Dave Oakes

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