BRADLEY Saunders will warm up for the biggest night of his boxing life with an appearance at Hull Ice Rink tonight.
The unbeaten Sedgefield star is challenging for Dave Ryan’s Commonwealth light-welterweight title on April 11 at the Metro Radio Arena.
People will get a shock when they watch me, they will see an even better Bradley SaundersBRADLEY SAUNDERS
But first he must dispose of Frenchman Stephane Benito over six rounds on the Matchroom show in Hull.
“I can’t wait for the fight with Ryan,” said Saunders, who is searching for his 12th straight win.
“We’ve sold 60-odd grand’s worth of tickets already – it’s going to be massive.
“But this is really important to dust off any ring-rust – I need it for the fight against Dave.
“It’s a 50-50 fight in my book.
“Dave’s got a lot more pro experience than me and he’s beaten better fighters than I’ve boxed.
“ He has put Nurse down twice and he’s beaten Paul McCloskey, who challenged for Amir Khan’s world title.
“I wanted to beat McCloskey as well but sadly he pulled out injured.
“It’s the biggest step up of my career. It’s a massive, massive fight but I’m on track.”
Tonight’s bout is his first with new coach Oliver Harrison in his corner.
It would be a slight exaggeration to say the 29-year-old has changed coaches like people change their socks but he hopes it will add that extra few percent to what is already a high figure.
“Oliver is second to none,” said Sofa Bed Shop-sponsored Saunders.
“He’s worked with the likes of Amir Khan and Martin Murray and he’s a proven world-class coach.
“I am at a level now where the little tweaks and the little changes you make are all the difference at the top, top level.
“Working with Oliver is the step that I need to reach my peak.
“I stayed in the gym over Christmas so I am 100 per cent ready for the fight with Dave, but Saturday gives me the chance to work on a few things.
“This time next year I expect to be knocking on the door of a World title, that’s realistic.
“I’m a lot better than I was in the last fight.
“I’m fitter and I’m used to Oliver now, so this is like the first step of many, hopefully.
“People will get a shock when they watch me, they will see an even better Bradley Saunders.”