September ring return for Hartlepool and Sedgefield boxer Bradley Saunders

BOXER AND COACH: Bradey Saunders (right) with trainer Peter Cope
BOXER AND COACH: Bradey Saunders (right) with trainer Peter Cope

COACH Peter Cope is hoping Bradley Saunders is handed a rapid ring return as he looks ahead to a golden future for the boxer.

Saunders is currently taking a quick sunshine break following his sixth straight professional win at the weekend.

Irish warrior Michael Kelly was stopped in the fifth round under a relentless barrage from the 27-year-old Gus Robinson Developments light-welterweight.

It was a stunning display from the unbeaten fighter, who is managed by top promoter Frank Warren.

Cope believes Saunders could be ready for a title assault as soon as the fight after next.

And, to that end, the trainer hopes the Sedgefield boxer will get a six or eight round fight in the late summer/ early autumn.

The show starring WBO world light-heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly’s defence against Sergey Kovalev at Cardiff Motorpoint Arena on Saturday, August 17, will probably come too soon for Saunders, whose fitness trainer is Eddy Ellwood.

But Warren is promoting a big event at the 7,000-capacity Copper Box Arena in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on September 21, when Billy Joe Saunders defends his British middleweight title against John Ryder.

Warren could use Bradley Saunders, no relation of Billy Joe, on that show.

“I think we’re all keen to get Bradley back in the ring quickly,” Cope told SportMail.

“He’d been out seven months but the way he came back on Saturday was phenomenal.

“Frank’s son, Francis, set that their promotions company are looking to get him moving.

“If they decide that will be in September then that’s fantastic.

“I was really, really impressed with Bradley on Saturday night.

“The ability he has is frightening and his strength is unbelievable.

“He’s got everything.

“I remember Michael Hunter once saying that one of the most important things about being a professional boxer is being hard.

“Bradley is a hard kid as well as being a very good boxer.

“Kelly has fought some top people in his career, including Frankie Gavin, but Bradley was at a different level to him.

“He made just two mistakes in five rounds – he was exceptional.

“I watched the TV recording back last night and his display was even better than I remembered it live on the night.

“The commentary team liked it and I think the BoxNation audience will have liked it too.

“I’m sure he’s destined for big things.”