Exclusive: Bradley Saunders says brittle hands may never recover

Saunders (12-1, 9 KO) lost his first fight as a professional on Saturday at the hands of Renald Garrido, as he was disqualified in the sixth round for an intentional headbutt.

The super lightweight had been knocked down earlier in the round and confirmed after the fight that his hand injuries – which have hindered him throughout his career – were restricting him from throwing punches, and therefore, halting the onslaught of his French opponent.

Now, the 29 year-old’s career looks in grave doubt as he seeks to make a decision on where his future lies.

He said: “I need to have a serious look at my options and decide what’s best for my future. I’ve ruptured both my hands and doctors have told me that there’s nothing they can do to help me.

“On Saturday, I started well and felt good but once my hands went, that was it. I ran out of ideas in there and couldn’t do anything. I wish my corner had of pulled me out earlier but I wanted to fight on. The headbutt was stupid but when you can’t throw punches or defend yourself, it’s hard to know what to do.”

“The rematch with Garrido is definitely something I would want and I would have to beat him if I’m serious – but there is a lot more for me to decide before that happens,” he added.

Saunders has only been in the professional game for three years – following an impressive amateur career -and has been touted as the figurehead of bringing boxing back to the north east.

He said: “I love boxing and would love to be able to carry on. I like fighting and if I do go on it’s because of that – not for the money. I’ve already made a fair bit of money and my business is doing really well.

“It seems that the hands aren’t going to recover so if I go on now, I will just have to fight through the pain. It’s not enjoyable, but that’s just how it is. I can quite easily go on and will fight again, but I just don’t know how far I can go.”

Matt Horan is a staff writer for WBN. Follow Matt on Twitter @Mhoran123