Sedgefield boxer Jeff Saunders out to make his own name after stunning debut

WHAT A START: Jeff Saunders (left) celebrates beating Sandor Racz
WHAT A START: Jeff Saunders (left) celebrates beating Sandor Racz

HARRY Kane needed just 80 seconds while it took Jeff Saunders a mere 140 seconds. Dream debuts both.

The nation had been waiting for Kane’s first run out in an England shirt and he did not disappoint at Wembley recently.

I will make my own name and intend to be a one to watch

JEFF SAUNDERS

And while Jeff Saunders is no household name, his whirlwind start in pro boxing will certainly have at least made Britain’s boxing fans sit up and take notice.

The 23-year-old stopped Sandor Racz in the first round at the Metro Radio Arena.

Cheered on by injured brother Bradley, who had been due to top the bill in Newcastle, simply took the Hungarian apart in ruthless fashion.

Young Saunders had started brightly in a bout scheduled for four rounds.

The Sedgefield sent Racz crashing to the canvas in the home blue corner with a powerful right hook.

Racz was up at five and referee Steve Hawkins let him continue.

But shortly afterwards, a left-right combination from the former paratrooper floored the man from Budapest and Mr Hawkins waved off the contest after two minutes 20 seconds. The left was no more than the proverbial sighter but the right which followed would have floored an elephant.

Emerging from the shadow of a famous family member is not an easy journey.

While having a star parent or brother or sister may open a door or two, the young talent will always be compared to the original act.

But Jeff, an ABA champion during his spell in HM Forces, has made a good start in his bid to forge his own career in one of the hardest sports out there.

“There is no rush for me,” he told SportMail, somewhat ironic given the early finish. “I just want to get some experience and make progress.

“It’s a bit of a headache [having Bradley as his boxing brother].

“Don’t get me wrong, he’s had a brilliant career. He’s my brother and I have the utmost respect for him and I take on board everything he tells me.

“But I will make my own name and intend to be a one to watch.

“There are lads already in the British ratings I have previously beaten in the amateurs and I’ll beat them again in the pro game.

“I just need a fights and rounds to adapt to the game and I’ll be beating them, one million per cent.”

The former South Durham ABC star, who had dad Jeff in his corner along with former Hartlepool boxer and West rugby player Danny Weegram, showed no signs of nerves.

He was faced with a big crowd – including an army of fans from Sedgefield and the surrounding villages – and was live on Sky Sports but was not fazed.

“It was a huge night,” he said. “I wasn’t just boxing in the biggest venue around here, I was fighting in front of all the people who’ve watched me come through the juniors and amateurs.

“I was thrilled with how I did. I was comfortable and confident and I was compact, I didn’t rush in.

“The shot just came, it was brilliant, and I was happy with how I finished it.

“While that was my first fight, I’ve been around long enough to know that you can’t just rush in.

“When you have someone on the back foot, you set them up. As soon as their hand drops, bang!”