BRADLEY Saunders has the opportunity to keep his pot boiling in the light-welterweight division after being matched with a top-notch French fighter.
The 28-year-old will fight Christopher Sebire in Manchester on Saturday, July 26 when Dereck Chisora faces Tyson Fury in British boxing’s latest grudge match.
All eyes will be on the mammoth heavyweight confrontation but the 10-stone contest at the Phones 4u Arena is another crucial bout for Saunders.
The unbeaten Sedgefield boxer is in the mix in the World Boxing Organisation after his emphatic victory last time out.
Saunders made quick work of Ville Piispanen when he won the WBO Inter-continental at Newcastle earlier this month, knocking out the Finn in the first round with a devastating left hook to the body.
However, Sebire comes to Manchester armed with a good record and a second round knock-out victory in his last bout.
The 29-year-old, from Rouen, has won 23 of his 31 contests, including nine inside the distance and is the former French light-welterweight champion.
But one of the key digits on his record is the number one.
Sebire has lost eight times but has only been stopped once and clearly is a tough, durable character.
On paper, so too was Piispanen but, instead, Saunders recorded his quickest ever win.
Saunders made it 10 wins out of 10 when he flattened the Finn at the Metro Radio Arena, his eighth success by KO.
“I’m not just stopping nobodies,” said the former South Durham ABC star.
“Piispanen is a seasoned professional, who’d boxed for the European and EU titles and been 12 rounds loads of times.
“I blew him away in a round.
“I’m doing things to people that others can’t do.
“I’m going in the direction I want to be going in and that is to number one.”
In the headline act, Chisora and Fury will contest two titles – the vacant British championship and Chisora’s European belt.
The main prize for the winner will be a challenge against Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight crowns.
For tickets for contest, contact Tracey on 07861 226986