Undefeated super-bantam prospect Brad Strand faces hard-hitting Alexandru Ionita next

09/01/2022 - No comments

Rising super-bantamweight star Brad Strand (7-0, 3KOs), signed to Queensberry Promotions, heads back to the ring for his second fight this year against powerful puncher Alexandru Ionita (7-14-1, 5KOs) on Friday, September 2 at the Shankly Hotel in Liverpool.

The six-round super-bantamweight bout takes place on a Neilson Boxing show, with other local talents Marcel Braithwaite, Jack McGann and Adam Carberry also on display.

Trained by Paul Stevenson out of the talent-laden Everton Red Triangle gym, this will be Strand’s second fight of 2022, having previously outpointed once-beaten Tanzanian Ally Mwerangi in April this year. Strand completely dominated in that previous appearance, displaying strength and skill to frustrate his opponent to the point where the East African was docked a point for use of the head in the final round.

Strand, who has yet to concede a single round to any opponent, explained what he has been up to since that last outing, “Still training hard every day in the gym, just been waiting for the date really, so I’ve been ready all the way through.”

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His next opponent originates from Romania and has stopped five from seven of his victims. Ionita lost his pro debut in 2018 after a second-round knockdown cost him the points decision, but he bounced back to go undefeated in his next eight fights, all in his native Spain.

It was hitting the road in his 10th contest that saw the wins dry up completely, fighting and losing in Kazakhstan; France; Italy; Dubai; Scotland; and three times in England.

This will be the 25-year-old visitor’s fifth fight in the UK, and Strand will be more than familiar with his eighth professional opponent, as Ionita has fought against two of his teammates already – brothers Peter and Joe McGrail.

Olympian Peter McGrail halted the Romanian known as ‘Tety’ in the second round of a scheduled six in Dubai earlier this year, while younger sibling Joe won all six rounds against the same man four months later in July in Sunderland.

Despite his teammates possessing some inside info, Strand is already well informed, he claims, “I was at Joe’s fight when he fought him last and I watched Peter’s on Eurosport, so I’ve had a good look at him already.

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“So, there’s been no advice passed on because every fight is different and every fighter approaches a fight differently depending on who they’re fighting, so I’m just being reminded by Paul [Stevenson] not to underestimate anyone. Just because someone has beaten someone, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be an easy night for you.”

Trainer Stevenson added, “Brad’s been training really well. He’s been having some great rounds with Andrew Cain, Peter McGrail and Nick Ball, and is really on the rise.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the things he’s learning being put into practice on the night.”

The super-bantamweight is hoping for another perfect performance to ensure a third six-round victory in a row, which should see him move up to eight rounds next, with plans to challenge for silverware in the New Year.

He revealed his goals for after the Alexandru Ionita fight, “I think I’ve been promised another date from Frank Warren in November, so hopefully I’ll have this one and then just stay back in the gym training, getting better every day and working towards that November date, and that’ll be me now. So maybe an eight-rounder in November, end the year at 9-0, and then next year push on and start looking at titles.”

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About Brad Strand

After winning the ABA Elites in 2018, Bradley Strand turned pro and has won all seven fights so far.

Due to extenuating circumstances, such as cancelled shows and the recent global pandemic, the 25-year-old stylist has only been able to fight twice per year since his debut in March 2019.

Trained by Paul Stevenson at the Everton Red Triangle gym, he commented on his 122-pound prospect, “Brad is really on the move in terms of his development, he’s hitting harder and faster, and developing into a fine fighter. I really do have very high hopes for him.”

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