21 year old amateur boxer Jeff Saunders from County Durham won the ABA finals at Rainton Meadows Arena in Tyne and Wear on Saturday night.
All 5 judges scored in favour of the underdog on the night, crowning Saunders the new ABA Welterweight British Champion.
“I can’t be any happier at the moment. I went in as the underdog and you know what, not one person even came close to me the whole championship! Boxing, fighting up close and just any way they wanted, I outdone them all. Being the underdog just made the win that much sweeter.”
It becomes the second national title the talented paratrooper has scooped up this year and the second ABA champion from the Saunders’ family.
The younger brother of professional boxer Bradley Saunders, a previous ABA champion, beat the favourite, Londoner Sam McNess from Repton in the finals of the prestigious tournament.
Ecstatic for his younger brother Bradley posted on Facebook minutes after the decision was announced.
“And now British Champion on all 5 judges’ cards – Jeff Saunders! That’s 2 brothers both won senior ABA titles.”
Over 200 fans made the worthwhile trip north and were not disappointed in the result. The new champion took time to thank the travelling fans.
“I am very thankful for everyone who came to support me.”
Saunders journeyed to the finals in the hardest way by beating English International Loren Lufftous and highly rated Tom Simpson.
Older brother Brad has been highly supportive to his younger brother selling tickets and travelling to Portsmouth in March to see him crowned as the Combined Services champion travelling over 600 miles to be in the crowd.
You can view the fight online here http://www.hattonboxing.com/tv/tv-player/amateur-boxing-tv/boxing-tv-archive/marlon-mellish-v-jeff-saunders
The unbeaten pro Bradley Saunders with 5 wins so far, signed by Frank Warren has been absent from the ring for 5 months whilst recovering from injury but the future is looking bright with a return imminent in June and some backing of his own.
“Been a busy few weeks but got some cracking sponsors on board now. Loads of miles on the clock in the car but well worth it.”