UK Boxing: Saunders vs Spitko; Nathan Cleverly; Edwards vs Bayaar

2008 Olympian Billy Joe Saunders has vowed to tame the man known as Pitbull when he makes his London debut at York Hall on Friday night.Saunders takes on prospect-killer Alex Spitko, who has already scalped four unbeaten fighters, live on Sky Sports. The Mansfield-based Latvian has taken on a string of big names in his pro career, and has earned himself the nickname Pitbull. But Saunders has promised a dogged performance - and reckons his opponent's bark will be worse than his bite. "Spitko looks a dangerous fighter and he's mixed in good company," said the 20-year-old..

"He'll be coming to knock me out because I'm getting the big build up and I went to the Olympics.

"I really hope that he does come with that attitude because it will bring out the best in me.

"I've looked at his record and he has beaten four prospects, two of them in the first round, so I can't take him lightly at all.

"But I've stopped my first three opponents and I'm looking for another KO victory on Friday night."

Saunders turned professional earlier this year, and has won each of his fights in the second round, including his last outing, in Manchester in July.

"I just want to keep busy and it's great to be fighting so soon again," said the Hatfield traveler.

"I've always dreamed about fighting at York Hall as a professional, and it's fantastic to be getting an opportunity to do so. I don't think the fans will be going home disappointed."

But Spitko, 23, warned him: "I love exposing prospects and I'm coming to take away Billy Joe's unbeaten record."

Saunders' fight against Spitko will form part of the undercard to Nathan Cleverly's British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight title defence against Courtney Fry.


Nathan Cleverly hopes to be bidding for two vacant titles this year - the European light-heavyweight crown and the post of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambrdige University!

One of Britain's most prestigious academic positions recently became open after world famous super-physicist Stephen Hawking stood down.

The job has previously been held by Sir Isaac Newton - who discovered gravity - and Charles Babbage, the man credited with inventing the first computer.

But Cleverly, 22, cheekily reckons he is an ideal candidate after successfully combining a career in the sweetest science with a four-year Maths degree at Cardiff University.

The Welsh brain-box defends his British and Commonwealth light-heavyweight titles against Courtney Fry at Bethnal Green's York Hall on Friday night live on Sky Sports.

And if he emerges victorious, promoter Frank Warren has promised him a crack at the European light-heavyweight crown on December 5 in Newcastle.

But despite the pressure ahead of the Fry fight, Cleverly has loftier things on his mind.

"British, Commonwealth, European champion...and Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambrdige University definitely has a nice ring to it," said Cleverly.

"I've got my application ready, and I'm looking forward to hearing back from the boffins at Cambridge.

"I may only be 22, but I'm pretty good on gravity because my opponents seem to hit the floor soon after getting in the ring with me.

"My career is accelerating nicely too, and before too long I'm going to become an unstoppable force with an incredible power to weight ratio.

"Even if I don't get the post at Cambridge, I'm quite happy to go up there and take part in a few experiments to show just how hard I can hit.


CHRIS EDWARDS will risk his British flyweight title against Mongolian warrior Shinny Bayaar on next month's bumper Bolton Arena bill.

The October 23 card is topped by Jamie Moore who defends his European light-middleweight title against Ryan Rhodes in a 12 rounder that is also a WBC world title eliminator.

Bayaar, 32, (13-4-1) has been living in Oldham for more than eight years, but was granted British citizenship in the summer and plans to make the most of his title chance.

Edwards, 33, (13-13-3) will be making the second defence of his crown and will have to give a career best performance against Bayaar.

Promoter Frank Maloney warned: "Chris was a big favourite for his recent fights against Wayne Bloy and Usman Ahmed, but this is a big task

"Shinny hasn't been the most active fighter, but for several years he has been a fully paid up member of the 'Who Needs Him Club' and only got work because of manager Jack Doughty.

"This isn't a fight that we would have taken by choice, but it has been mandated and if Chris comes through he will be on the fringes if world class."

A second British title fight on the bill sees St Helens Gary Davies (9-2-1) risks his bantamweight title against Ian Napa (18-7).

The pair were due to clash this week, but Davies who won the crown against Matthew Edmonds in April sustained a calf injury.

A fourth title sees Burnley star Stuart McFadyen (12-1-1) challenge Doncaster's Jamie McDonnell (11-2-1) for the vacant English super-flyweight title.

Tickets are now on sale prices £40, £60, £80 and £125 from and 0871 226 1508

Article posted on 07.10.2009

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