STEVE Bendall revealed he has big plans for Mace Ruegg, after joining forces with the Bournemouth boxer.

Former WBU middleweight champion Bendall runs a boxing gym on Ashley Road in Parkstone and promotes shows in the area.

And the 50-year-old is now stepping up some more coaching work again, taking talented Bournemouth boxer Ruegg under his wing.

Ruegg has an unbeaten 10-0 professional record and has fought on some big shows, including at Vitality Stadium and the Bournemouth International Centre last year.

The 23-year-old's last fight came in Liverpool in September and he is set to headline at Bendall’s next show at the O2 Academy in Boscombe on April 6.

“Mace Ruegg is now coming to me, I’m his coach now,” Bendall told the Daily Echo.

“With what has happened over the last couple of years where Kev (Thorniley) has got his own gym, I’ve put myself back on the work front.

“I train Rayner Mason, Mace and Gemma (Ruegg). I’ve now got my own amateur boxing club as well, so I’ve just put myself back onto the work front. Before, all the pros I had coming through were Kev’s boys.”

Bournemouth Echo:

Discussing the potential of Mace Ruegg, Bendall said: “He is a different level. The plan is he will be headlining for me on April 6 at the O2 Academy in Bournemouth.

“Then I’ve spoken to BOXXER and he will be on the next (Chris) Billam-Smith show, they are just waiting for confirmation on the date.

“Mace is 10-0, we will just be working on a few things.

“Mace is a one-off, you can’t change him. There are just a couple of things I am trying to add to him, which I think will ultimately improve him.

“After the April show and the show for BOXXER, I want to try and get him in for a title fight.

“I think he’s ready. Even though he’s still young, at 23 years of age he’s still a baby, but he’s very mature in his boxing.

“I think he’s ready really to be let off the leash.

“I just want him to have a couple of fights, because we’re obviously working on a few changes to the way he boxes a little bit.

“He’s not been active enough. I want him to get those first two fights back, build things back up and then hopefully I’d like to get him an intercontinental title fight or an English title for his third fight with me.”

Asked how much he has enjoyed stepping up the coaching work, Bendall added: “I’m back enjoying it all now, being my own man again.

“When I’m promoting the shows I’m still working with other people. I still work with Kev, Gary White in Southampton and Michael Ballingall in Portsmouth.

“I have to do the shows to bring on your Jake Clarkes, your Rainer Masons and these boys who are trying to build their careers to be the next ones coming through.”

Ruegg, Clarke and Mason are set to be in action on April 6 on the seven-fight bill, which also includes Portsmouth duo Matt King and Katie Smith.

Tickets for ‘Next Generation’ are available from £40 via the O2 Academy website. Doors open at 5.30pm, with the show beginning from 6pm.