Sedgefield star Saunders raced to incredible 10 fight unbeaten streak with eight of the wins coming by way of knockout. The previous ring encounter on June 7th was the most emphatic performance of all with a career-best body shot dumping experienced Ville Piispanen of Finland onto the canvas and out of the contest in just 81 seconds to claim the WBO InterContinental light welterweight belt – his first pro title.
On July 26th in Manchester, the North East star gets another tough test when facing hard-wearing Frenchman Christopher Sebire over eight rounds. In the 31 professional contests to date, Sebire has only been stopped once inside the distance and has already taken both Chris Jenkins and Bradley Skeete to the final bell just two weeks apart in February this year.
Both losses came by unanimous decision over 12 rounds, firstly against Prizefighter champion Chris Jenkins for the vacant WBC International light welterweight title, and secondly in a bid for the vacant WBA Intercontinental title at welterweight against Skeete.
The 29 year old Frenchman from Rouen is ranked in the top 10 in his native country’s rankings and comes into this fight confidently off the back of a second round stoppage over Serbian number 1 lightweight Nemanja Krstin 5(4)-7(3)-0.
Interestingly Sebire shares a similar stat to County Durham’s Saunders, boasting an almost identical record at the same stage of his career. In 2007, shortly before he stepped up to his first title challenge against Italian Salvatore Annunziata for IBF Youth light middleweight title, Sebire was unbeaten in 11 fights with seven by way of knockout.
The Frenchman failed in his bid to pick up his first professional title but later became the French light welterweight champion in 2009.
The North East power puncher commented on his forthcoming opponent, “Sebire is bigger and stronger as he’s fought at welterweight and up at light-middleweight so maybe he’ll take me a few rounds more. He’ll be coming to win like he always does so I know that I won’t have to go looking for him which will make it exciting for the fans.”
He went on to add “He is a very tough guy who goes the distance with everybody. Sebire has taken Skeete and Jenkins the distance so I’ll be looking forward to getting in there and doing some rounds with him.”
The previous win in Newcastle launched the 2008 Beijing Olympian straight into the WBO world rankings after just his tenth fight, where Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez and Lucas Matthysse all currently occupy the top spots.
On his future plans Saunders shared his ambitions by saying, “The new WBO world rankings are out and Team Saunders are on the move. Straight in at no. 12 and there some top names for me to be in there with in these next 18 months. Now that I’m ranked in the WBO the world title is in my sights but I want to get some more rounds in so I can get some experience in the bag and show people what I can do in the later rounds. I get even stronger as the fight goes on and can do some real damage.”
Reflecting on the brilliant body shot that presented him with the win and shiny new belt, Saunders commented, “Me and my coach Seamus Macklin had been working on that shot but we didn’t think it would happen that early. I’ve been knocking out middleweights in the sparring I’ve done, I’ve got the power, not just to the body but to the head too. So imagine what I can do when I get them little gloves on for fight night.”
The eagerly anticipated main fight between the English heavyweights already has history adding to the customary pre-match hype. Chisora and Fury first met in July 2011 when the 6ft 9in Mancunican took a unanimous decision to steal away Londoner Chisora's British and Commonwealth titles as well as his unbeaten record.
While 25 year old Fury has gone on to remain unbeaten in 22, Chisora, now 30, has also been busy and found himself in some of the biggest fights of recent years, including an infamous night in Munich against Vitali Klitschko, a huge domestic clash with David Haye, and a recent run of fantastic form and fitness, piling up wins against Malik Scott and Kevin Johnson.
The rest of the bill promises fireworks with exciting North Londoner Billy Joe Saunders 19(10)-0-0 looking to add the vacant European middleweight title to his growing collection of belts against unbeaten Italian Emanuele Blandamura 22(5)-0-0.
Commonwealth and WBO European and International super-featherweight champion Liam Walsh 15(10)-0-0 looks to go 16 wins from 16 and add the British title to his increasing hoard when he challenges current champ Gary Sykes 27(6)-3(1)-0.
English champion Kirk Goodings 14(3)-0-0- has also been added to the packed bill at the last minute to defend his honours against Scotty Cardle 11(3)-1-0, doubling up as a British title eliminator.
Chisora V Fury will be live and exclusive on BoxNation (Sky Ch. 437/HD 490 and Virgin Ch. 546).
Tickets priced at £40, £75, £150 and £200 are available directly from Team Saunders on 07861 226986.
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Bradley would like to thank his sponsors; webuyanyhouse.com, ESRG Marketing, his trainer Seamus Macklin and his team at the MGM Gym Marbella, plus his manager Daniel Kinahan and promoter Frank Warren.