WBO title could be a springboard for Bradley Saunders

Saunders ready for north east bout

Sedgefield light-welterweight Bradley Saunders sees his fight for the vacant WBO inter-continental title against Ville Piispanen as a stepping stone.

Saunders, 28, turned professional in 2012 and has since won all nine fights and faces the 30-year-old in Newcastle.

Finnish fighter Piispanen has won 18 fights, losing four and drawing three, and has held a European title.

"If I win this then I will be seven or eight in the WBO rankings," Saunders told BBC Look North.

"Then I want to fight some big names, DeMarcus Corley and Erik Morales and all the people like that.

"There are some top names out there to fight in the top division."

Topping the bill is Darlington's Stuey Hall, who defends his IBF bantamweight title against Paul Butler, while Birtley's Jon-Lewis Dickinson is on the undercard against Ovill McKenzie with the British and Commonwealth cruiserweight titles on the line.

McKenzie, 34, has fought Enzo Maccarinelli and Tony Bellew during his career and has won 22 fights, losing 12, while 28-year-old Dickinson has a 15-2-0 record.

"I don't like walkover fights. I like tough challenges," Dickinson said.

"It keeps me focused, drives me on and I know McKenzie is dangerous. If I lose my concentration for a split second I could be on my back and fight over.

"It's tough challenge but I'm confident of coming out on top."