Saunders all set for Ryan clash

The Sedgefield fighter stretched his unbeaten record to 12-0 with a ninth stoppage win, taking out tough Frenchman Stephane Benito at the end of the fifth round in his second fight under new promoter Eddie Hearn.

Saunders, 29, was teaming up with trainer Oliver Harrison for the first time, and the Commonwealth silver medalist believes he is peaking at the right time to take on Ryan.

???There’s not many guys that could take the shots that I was hitting him with,??? said Saunders.??

???I am pretty heavy-handed and he took a lot of shots. I was really getting into it and throwing shots with a lot of variety, so it was ideal preparation, I chose to be in the trenches in Hull and that’s where I will be against Dave.

???I had a run the day after the fight, a nice Sunday dinner, and then I was back on the diet and hitting the gym hard. That fight has me in good stead and I am raring to go.??

“I want to bring big fights to the north-east, this is the first one and I have to win and look good to make sure we come back.

???My manager and Matthew Macklin recommended Oliver Harrison to me and he’s only really got myself, Rocky Fielding and Martin Murray, so he has loads of time for us and we can get through a lot of technical work.??

“I’ll have to spend time away from my family which is going to be tough but it will be worth it in the end.???

Saunders??? clash with Ryan is part of a huge night of boxing in the north-east, with heavyweight sensation Anthony Joshua MBE also returning to action on bill.

Local favourite Jon-Lewis Dickinson challenges Stephen Simmons for the Scotsman???s WBC International silver cruiserweight title, and a family feel on the bill is complemented by Jon-Lewis??? brother Travis, also fighting on the night, and Bradley???s brother Jeff making his professional debut.??

Other unbeaten local talent on the bill include English super flyweight champion Anthony Nelson, cruiserweight Simon Vallily, light heavyweight Jordan King, as well as a debut for Lewis Ritson and a second pro outing for Scotland???s Commonwealth gold medallist Charlie Flynn.??