BRADLEY Saunders is not the only South Durham man making big moves in the boxing ring.
Step forward Gary Fox.
Trained in Hartlepool by Neil Fannan, the “Fishburn Fox” is on the prowl, for a win and another title.
Fox is part of a strong local contingent on the Gateshead Leisure Centre bill topped by pal and former South Durham ABC team-mate Saunders.
The Northern Area lightweight champion will face “Marvelous” Marvin Greaves over four rounds.
Hartlepool pair Simon Vallily and Callum Winton are looking to extend their unbeaten runs, against Paul David and Yousef Al Hamidi, but for Fox, the mission is two-fold.
Fox, who turned 28 last week, is firstly looking to put the televised defeat to Scott Cardle behind him and, secondly, he’s looking for a good warm-up for an English championship challenge in the spring.
The crowd pleaser will provide the first defence for new champ, Kirk Goodings, at Houghton-le-Spring on Saturday, March 1.
Fox said: “I’m over the moon to get a fight with Kirk Goodings
“I’ve sparred with him before, his main asset is his fitness and he’s got a good heart.
“But, in my eyes, think I can match him for fitness but I have more strength than him.
“I think I can win that title.
“It’s good to be getting a fight in before then and, to be honest, I’ll probably look to get another one.
“It’s still four months before I challenge Kirk.
“I probably should be past doing four-rounders given I’m up to my 14th fight.
“But to get a contest on this show is great.
“It looks like a good fight for me. The lad’s won two out of three and I think he’ll come with a bit of ambition and that’s what I want
“I’m just looking forward to getting back in there and putting the Cardle defeat behind me.”
His confrontation with the undefeated Blackpool prospect was an eliminator in everything but name as the Northern and Central champions slogged it out over eight rounds in Glasgow in September.
Fox was beaten on points but did not disgrace himself against a boxer of Cardle’s pedigree.
It has given him a taste of the big time and he’d love more high-profile bouts.
“In one sense it went OK, it was a step up for me, but I was disappointed not to have done better,” he told SportMail.
“After four rounds it was anyone’s fight but I didn’t go out and grab it.
“I know what he’s about and I’d love to fight him again.”
Fox has been preparing for tomorrow night’s match with Greaves out in Spain.
Saunders has now based himself in Marbella and Fox, with the blessing of Fannan, went for some warm-weather training.
“I was supposed to only be going over for a week but I stayed for just over a fortnight,” Fox explained.
“Training went great, I was working there with some top fighters. I’d run on a morning and train every night and things went perfect.
“I’d even sparred with Bradley who says I’ve come on leaps and bounds.
“The only thing I felt I may have lacked was to sharpen up on the pads.
“But after a couple of days with Fanno this week I feel as sharp as a razor. I can’t wait for tomorrow night.”
l TICKETS are still on sale and admission is available on the door. Doors open at Gateshead Leisure Centre at 6pm with the first contest due to start at 6.45pm.