BRADLEY Saunders wanted to “dust off any ring-rust” before challenging for his Commonwealth championship challenge – and he has done just that.
The 29-year-old made it 12 wins on the spin when he stopped Frenchman Stephane Benito in the fifth round at Hull on Saturday night.
He was a tough operator and it will stand me in good steadBRADLEY SAUNDERS
It was the ninth stoppage of his pro career and just what the doctor ordered for ahead of his battle with Dave Ryan at the Metro Radio Arena on Saturday, April 4.
Referee Michael Alexander called a halt to the assault with just 10 seconds to go of the penultimate session at Hull Ice Arena.
“I am pleased,” said the Sedgefield light-welterweight.
“There are not many kids who could have taken the shots Benito did.
“I know Dave Ryan is tough but this guy was tough.
“He was a tough operator and it will stand me in good stead.
“I was in the trenches and I expect to be in the trenches with Dave Ryan so this fight was ideal for me.”
Saunders is top of the bill in Newcastle next month.
He felt it was vital to get some rounds under his belt, especially given he had a new coach in his corner – Oliver Harrison.
While Saunders is a top-drawer boxer and fighter, to go into the Ryan fight without having had a dress rehearsal with his trainer could have been a gamble.
“I will be good to go in April,” said Saunders.
“I want to bring a big fight to the North-East and deliver.
“I have a new trainer in Oliver. He is perfect for me and we have done a lot of technical work so things are going well.
“This fight was ideal timing against an ideal opponent, now it’s all focus on Dave Ryan.”