BRADLEY Saunders is prepared to go the extra mile to become a world champion.
In fact, he’s prepared to go an extra thousand miles and more.
The unbeaten light-welterweight, from Sedgefield, has linked up with the highly-respected coach Oliver Harrison, Amir Khan’s former trainer, ahead of his crack at the Commonwealth championship in Newcastle in April.
Saunders has been based in Spain for the last 16 months since leaving the Gus Robinson Developments gym in Hartlepool.
Macklin’s Gym Marbella has been the work place for the world title hopeful, while he has had Seamus Macklin in his corner for his last five fights.
Saunders has enjoyed the training in Spain but also the climate and lifestyle – he, his fiancee, Stephanie, and son Leyton are all settled in Marbella.
But the boxer plans to spend his weekdays training at Harrison’s Salford HQ before returning home on weekends.
It is a big commitment from Saunders, but one he believes will make him even better. “I’ve already been to Manchester to work with Oliver,” he said.
“He’s a very, very good technical coach. We’ve worked on my faults and what we’ve done so far has been brilliant.
“Oliver has gone away for the next three weeks, with Martin Murray training him for his world title fight against Gennady Golovkin.
“I could have gone with them but I’ve stayed in Marbella, there are some great lads I can work with here. When Oliver’s back, I’ll be over to Manchester on a Monday, train there all week then fly home to my family on a Friday night.
“Working there is nothing against the MGM, I am hoping Oliver will help me to the next level.”
Saunders is already at some level.
The 28-year-old has won all 11 fights, eight inside the distance, including an 81-second demolition of Ville Piispanen to become the vacant WBO Inter-Continental light-welterweight title in Newcastle last year.
He will be returning to the Metro Radio Arena to top the Matchroom-promoted blockbuster on April 4, when when Olympic hero Anthony Joshua will also be in action.
Saunders is confident of taking the Commonwealth title from holder Dave “Rocky” Ryan, from Derby. However, he wants a warm-up fight to “get rid of any ring-rust”.
He said: “I’ve asked for a bout in early March.
“This is a massive fight for the North East and a massive fight for me,” Saunders explained. “Ryan is good and he’s beaten better people than I’ve fought.”