BRADLEY Saunders will make his ring return on a major show in London in July.
The Hartlepool and Sedgefield boxer has been out of action for six months, after having surgery on his left hand following his win over Peter McDonagh on the Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff undercard, at Manchester last December.
But the unbeaten boxer, one of promoter Frank Warren’s hottest prospects, is approaching full fitness now and will fight on the Dereck Chisora bill at Wembley Arena on July 20.
The London heavyweight had been due to fight Deontay Wilder on June 15, but the showdown had to be was cancelled because the American KO specialist cannot travel due to criminal allegations.
Chisora will headline another show in the capital, with unbeaten Brit Tyson Fury and David Haye’s intended opponent, Manuel Charr, touted as possible rivals.
Such is the potential of Saunders, the 27-year-old will be on the show in a six-round support bout.
Coach Peter Cope, who trains the light-welterweight at the Gus Robinson Developments gym, says he is excited at the return of his star boxer.
“Bradley had major hand surgery back in December, just after his great win over McDonagh,” Cope told SportMail.
“Boxers don’t advertise the fact they have had this sort of thing done but I don’t think it’s a secret that Bradley has had trouble with his hands.
“He had some bone taken off his hip and put on the back of his hand.
“The consultant was really happy with the surgery and the recovery.
“Seven months is a long time to be out but it is not going to affect his career – he still looks destined for a title shot, sooner rather than later.
“His hand seems fine – I’ve had him on the pads and I’d say he’s up to around 80 per cent power.
“Fitness-wise he’s all-right.
“He’s not long been back from Marbella where he’s been training with quite a few top lads.
“He could box six rounds now because of his class and experience, but we still have nine weeks before he gets through the ropes and fight for real.
“There is loads of time to get him 100 per cent.
“It will be great to have him back and I’m confident he’ll be as good as ever.”
Saunders has already sparred with latest Gus Robinson Development signings, Daniel Cope and Anth Hardy, plus unbeaten featherweight prospect Peter Cope Jr.
And coach Cope Snr says the big Wembley event will be just up Saunders’ street.
“It’s fabulous that he’s on a show like this,” he said.