In a recent whirlwind of events, Bradley Saunders 10(8)-0-0 was unveiled as Eddie Hearn’s latest addition to the star-studded Matchroom Boxing stable with grand plans to bring big-time boxing to the North East with the first show planned for April 4th 2015 at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena.
Along with the news of the signing of the Beijing 2008 Olympian was the announcement that he had been added to the undercard of the sold-out Cleverley-Bellew II grudge match on November 22nd at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
Yesterday, further news appeared when it was confirmed that Saunders had been matched with the Latvian KO King, Ivans Levickis 13(12)-14(7)-0. The pair will share the ring this coming Saturday and also share an almost identical KO ratio with Saunders boasting an 80% KO statistic just slightly eclipsed by Levickis’ 82% record.
The 22-year-old Latvian is ranked number one in the light-welterweight division in his country and comes into the fight confidently following back-to-back KO wins – both inside just two rounds.
The danger-man from Daugavpils recently upset Alec Wilkey’s prospect, Frankie Monkhouse 5-2(2)-0 by stopping him in the second round at York Hall, Bethnal Green and has taken prospects Ohara Davies 3(2)-0-0, Matty Tew 14(3)-3(2)-0 and Sohail Ahmad 5(2)-0-0 the distance at the same venue, all between March and May this year.
Most notable of all is the previous victory over 26-year-old Italian welterweight prospect, Alessandro Caccia 12(5)-1(1)-0. The top ten Italian-ranked hopeful was 12 fights unbeaten until he met the Latvian in Lazio last September.
As the buoyant Levickis enters into his 12th contest of 2014, Saunders comes out for the first fight under Eddie Hearn in what will be just his third fight of the year. After collecting the WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight title with a first round annihilation of Finland’s Ville Piispanen 19(6)-5(2)-3 in Newcastle in June, Saunders had dismantled a plucky Mitch Prince 12(1)-3(1)-2 in four rounds in front of home support at the same venue – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena in March.
Saunders commented, “I feel ok, I’m always fit but not as fit as I could be. He seems like a bully and I won’t be bullied and everyone will see that on the night. Bombs away!”
Both boxers in this eight round contest can clearly bang so fight fans are in for a treat on the night as the heavy-handed light-welterweights take to the ring. The scheduled fight is due to take place between the hours of 7pm – 9pm live on Sky Sports.
The hard-hitting WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight champion spent the previous week in Ireland with the rest of the MGM team as part of Matt Macklin’s WBC world eliminator campaign against Jorge Sebastian Heiland in Dublin.
Whilst there, Saunders used the trip to get some vital sparring in with the current WBO European lightweight champion, Stephen Ormond 17(8)-1-0 at his gym in Dublin.
Ormond, 31-years-old from Dublin, prepares to defend his title against unbeaten Terry Flanagan 25(9)-0-0 in Sheffield on December 13th.
“The last few days have been hectic, I wish I got paid air miles but it will all be worth it in the end,” said Saunders.
On sparring with the WBO European lightweight champion known in Ireland as ‘The Rock’, Saunders went on to say, “Ste has been top sparring for me. He is looking at a world title next year and these are the ones that I want to be in there with – no less. I am looking forward to the 22nd now.”
Saunders’ bow under Hearn comes on a huge night of boxing in Merseyside as Bellew and Cleverly meet in their long-awaited rematch, with Scott Quigg and Jamie McDonnell defending their World titles against Hidenori Othake and Walberto Ramos respectively.
James DeGale meets Marco Antonio Periban while two of his British super-middleweight peers are in action as George Groves meets Denis Douglin and Callum Smith tackles Nikole Sjekloca in a WBC World title eliminator.
Heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE defends his WBC International title against Michael Sprott which doubles up as a British title eliminator while German KO sensation Vincent Feigenbutz makes his UK debut.
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