After a fearless performance and a decisive win against China’s Chenglong Zhang on the card of GLORY : REDEMPTION in Rotterdam on Saturday 9 December, Nottinghamshire’s Bailey Sugden has moved one step closer to his goal of becoming a champion on the world’s leading kickboxing promotion.
The Suggy’s Gym 20-year old, who made his GLORY debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden in July, lived up to his pre-fight promise to excite the fans with big, fast shots and throw everything at his opponent, defeating him by a unanimous decision and taking his pro record to 11 wins from 12 fights.
Unfazed by sharing the same spotlight as heavyweight champion Rico Verhoeven on the main PPV card of the promotion, Newark’s BadBoy made the most of his striking ability as he set about using his boxing skills to full effect.
With 46 fights to his name, Chenglong’s experience may have dwarfed Bailey’s but almost every time the man ranked Number 1 in China tried to use his range to keep Bailey away his attempts were thwarted. And undeterred by his opponent using his Thai sweep to discourage him, Bailey simply sprang up to power forward again, slipping to the inside to hurt Chenglong with a volley of heavy hands and high kicks.
Asked about how he was feeling after such an emphatic win in a stadium famous worldwide for kickboxing, Bailey said: “I did what I said I would do, my team had a great game plan and I went out and delivered it perfectly.
“As for fighting in front of 15,000 fans who love kickboxing – it feels like I should fight here every time and that this is what I was born to do. I’m a fighter and GLORY is my employer now, it’s up to them to put someone else in front of me. Who would I like it be next? I’d really love the opportunity to fight Kevin VanNostrand but I’m ready to fight anyone, it’s all about the dollar.
“Before my fight with Arthur Sorsor in New York, I made another promise when I said that I would be GLORY champion within two years. People are already telling me that I have the potential to go one further than my brother Chad, who was ranked Number 2 at Welterweight on GLORY before he made the switch to pro boxing. No disrespect to Chad but that’s exactly what I plan to do – and sooner rather than later.”
Suggy’s Gym head coach and proud dad Dean Sugden added: “When it was announced that Bailey would be moving onto the main PPV card, there was never any doubt in our minds that he was ready for it. He was up against a dangerous opponent in Chenglong but if there’s one thing he thrives on, it’s a challenge.
“As the fight was about to begin, one of the GLORY commentators referred to him as the British Bulldog and he was right on the money – nothing and no one will stand in Bailey’s way when he goes out to get what he wants.
“Although we’re still waiting to hear what effect this latest win will have on his rankings, the accolades were flooding in across social media within minutes of the result.
“One in particular, from LiverKick, summed up perfectly what everyone was saying: ‘Bailey is very good. The whole Sugden family is talented, but he seems special.’ It’s something we’ve known for a while but on Saturday night he showed a worldwide audience just how special he is.”
Pictures by James Law / GLORY Kickboxing