Bradley Saunders has signed a long-term promotional deal with Eddie Hearn and Matchroom Boxing and will be in action at the sold out Echo Arena in Liverpool on November 22, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
The unbeaten light welterweight star moved to 10-0 in Newcastle in June with a destructive first round KO of Ville Piispanen, landing his first pro title in the shape of the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt – and the 28 year old is confident he’ll be adding more belts to his collection in 2015.
“I am thrilled to be joining Eddie Hearn and fighting on Sky Sports,” said Saunders. “I had plenty of options and I definitely chose the best one for me, it’s a new chapter and I am raring to go.
“I am looking for big things. I don’t want anything less than being a World champion. I played at the game in the amateurs but it is serious now. I want to bring big things to the North East.
“I’ve had three weeks training for the fight in Liverpool and you’ll see a change in me but above that, in the New Year you will see a different Bradley Saunders altogether.
“I was after the British and Commonwealth last year. People didn’t want to face me last year and I picked up the WBO Inter-Continental belt and I’m number 11 with them, there are guys out there that aren’t really at that weight but up there in the rankings that I know I can beat. This time next year I want to be competing at that top level, I am 28, I’m not a baby, there’s no need to hang around.
“I’m a North East lad and I love the North East. I want to be a World champion and I want to bring it back here for the brilliant fans we have. One day I want to open a gym up here and bring the next generation on, but right now it’s about my ultimate goal, next year is a serious year – I am not going to call anyone out because I am so confident that I can get rid of anyone put in my way.”
Promoter Hearn outlined his plans for the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist at a press conference in Newcastle today, with his Merseyside eight-rounder to be followed by another outing in the New Year before Saunders headlines a big show in the North East in April, joined by Olympic Gold medal hero Anthony Joshua MBE and many of his new stable mates.
“I am delighted to welcome Bradley to the team,” said Hearn. “Bradley has made a fantastic start to his professional career and he is capable of becoming a superstar in the North East.
“We managed to squeeze him onto the huge Merseyside bill on November 22 and we will be looking to box him again in late January/early February before he headlines in Newcastle in early April.
“Bradley has become one of the hottest prospects in the sport and I am so excited about delivering for him and the passionate fans in the North East.”
Saunders’ bow under Hearn comes on a huge night of boxing in Merseyside as Bellew and Cleverly meet in their long-awaited rematch, with Scott Quigg and Jamie McDonnell defending their World titles against Hidenori Othake and Walberto Ramos respectively.
James DeGale meets Marco Antonio Periban while two of his British Super Middleweight peers are in action as George Groves meets Denis Douglin and Callum Smith tackles Nikole Sjekloca in a WBC World title eliminator. Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE defends his WBC International title against Michael Sprott in a British title eliminator while German KO sensation Vincent Feigenbutz makes his UK debut and promoter Eddie Hearn is set to add another name to the bill soon.
Cleverly v Bellew II is exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office on 22 November with George Groves, Anthony Joshua MBE, James DeGale MBE and more also on the bill.