Bradley Pryce talks to Livefight
ďBilly Joe Saunders will have to be world class to even be competitive with meĒ Bradley ďSugarsweetĒ Pryce
By Michael J Jones
NEWPORT veteran Bradley Pryce is his usual truculent self before his bout with Commonwealth boss Billy Joe Saunders on June 1st. Pryce, now 31-years-old and 33-10 (18), is coming off a ten-round points success over another strong prospect in Patrick Mendy. The talented Welshman was bullied early by former Prizefighter champion Mendy before taking control in the middle rounds to eke out a deserved 96-95 decision.
Most are predicting a short, painful night for ďSugarsweetĒ at the York Hall Bethnal Green against the rapidly-improving Saunders. The Hertfordshire southpaw, 13-0 (9), has won three of his last four contests in the very first round and blew away Tony Hill last time out in just 30 seconds (to win the vacant title). The former Olympian is the firm favourite but has never faced anyone as experienced or confident as Gary Lockett-trained Pryce, nine years his senior.
Livefight caught up with Bradley with just two weeks to go and found him, as usual, in a supremely bullish mood-
LF) Hey Bradley, howís training going?
BP) Itís going great thanks, absolutely spot-on.
LF) Most are predicting a painful night for you against Billy Joe Saunders; how do you respond to that?
BP) Well itís fine for me as it means the pressure is off me for the fight. Iím the underdog and people are saying I havenít got a chance but thatís fine, Iíll take it on the chin. The pressure is off me and I feel better for it.
LF) What do you make of Billy Joe Saunders as a fighter; he seems to be improving his punching-power in recent fights?
BP) I donít really know because Iíve never seen him box. Iím not actually a big fan of boxing, I never watch it at home or anything like that. I watched (Saundersís) last fight; it was all over in 30 seconds. That was ok (to watch) but I couldnít watch a twelve-round fight.
I havenít a clue about his style but thatís the same in every fight; Iíll work the guy out when Iím in there. I know my experience will take me into the late rounds and then I can take over.
LF) You beat Patrick Mendy last time out; how did you rate your own performance in that fight?
BP) I thought our tactics were spot on, we knew heíd be strong the early rounds and I took some punishment but we planned to take over in the late rounds and thatís what we did.
LF) Most people logically say Saunders is more skilful and hits harder than Mendy; do you feel you can raise your game from that performance?
BP) Oh definitely. My confidence was low before Mendy but itís up again from that win and I feel back to my best.
Iím expecting Saunders to be fitter than Mendy but our basic tactics will be the same; keep it close for the first six rounds and then step it up to take over in the late rounds. Iím so much fitter now than before. Iíve trained all the way through from January and Iím honestly the fittest Iíve ever been. If I was in this shape for my losses Iíd be still undefeated now.
I know the situation; they think Iím an easy first defence for him, a bit of a name to knock-out but Iím going to shock a lot of people in this fight. Iím not a middleweight, Iím a light-middleweight. For Mendy I weighed in at 11st 3lbs with Jean-shorts on, I was probably only about 11st 1lb!
LF) A little while ago I asked your trainer Gary Lockett who he thought in the UK could make an impact on the world stage and one guy he said was Billy Joe Saunders. Would you like to comment on that?
BP) (Laughs) Yeah but I donít rate anyone I box because Iíve never watched them until Iíve fought them! We see this as a great opportunity and weíve trained and prepared very hard for this. I always said Iíd improve with age and I truly believe I have, Iím doing things in the gym now and itís just flowing. Iím extremely confident and Iíll say this; Billy Joe Saunders will have to be world class to even be competitive with me for this fight. Iím the best I can possibly be, I couldnít have trained any harder and thereíll be no excuses after the fight. I look forward to winning impressively and putting on a good show for the crowd.
LF) Thanks Bradley and good luck.