Bradley Saunders on march towards British boxing title

GREAT WIN: Bradley Saunders

GREAT WIN: Bradley Saunders

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BRADLEY Saunders has moved a step closer towards challenging for professional boxing glory.

The Hartlepool-trained fighter made it five wins out of five as a pro last night when he outpointed the highly-rated Peter McDonagh in Manchester.

Thrilled coach Peter Cope declared: “If Bradley does not win the minimum of a British title he will have under-achieved.

“He is absolutely top class - he has got all the tools and moves. He will go a long, long way, I have no doubt about that.”

While the majority of the crowd were at the Manchester Arena to watch the triumphant pro debut of cricket legend Andrew Flintoff last night, they were given an excellent display of boxing by Saunders before the arrival of the headline act.

Unlike fearless “Freddie”, who was raw and ragged, Saunders needed to be classy as well as strong against a very adept opponent over eight good rounds.

McDonagh, a London-based Irishman, has been in the top echelons of the game for many years and Cope says the 78-74 victory by Saunders was proof that the 26-year-old will be fighting for the British title sooner rather than later.

“He’s beaten a man of McDonagh’s calibre in just his fifth fight,” said the Gus Robinson Developments head coach.

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story and picture plus a report amnd picture from Freddie Flintoff’s amazing pro debut