In the biggest challenge of his career so far, Nottingham’s Chad ‘2 Slick’ Sugden is to share the spotlight in the main event on Germany’s biggest show ever on Saturday 26 April, when he faces this year’s K-1 World MAX finalist Enriko ‘The Hurricane’ Kehl.
Showcasing the best K-1 and MMA fights and involving some of the biggest names on the world stage, including ring legend Gago Drago, Mix Fight Gala takes place in Darmstadt and will be broadcast live on Eurosport.
Enriko goes out in Thailand against K-1 legend Buakaw Banchamek in July for the 2014 K-1 World MAX title. When his original opponent on the Darmstadt show withdrew less than three weeks before the event, the German fighter’s camp turned to Suggy’s Gym to find out whether Chad was available.
“The timing wasn’t great as I’d only just returned to training after an injury in my last K-1 Global outing in Azerbaijan,” said Chad. “But this was an offer we couldn’t turn down – it’s a massive event and Enriko is one of the names in the sport I really want to test myself against.
“Every time you jump in the ring you take risks but I’m confident that on my day I can show everyone why I am going to be known as the King of the Ring. And to all those doubters out there, ‘I’m here, I earned it and now I’m gonna own it’.
“I’m doing something I love and competing at the very highest level in my chosen sport. This is just the start and I would just like to thank K-1 Global for having faith in me and allowing me the chance to take up this opportunity to fight the man standing between Buakaw and the K-1 MAX crown.”
Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden commented: “Enriko proved just how dangerous he is when he smashed Maximo Suarez over three rounds in the K-1 MAX quarter final, so we’re going into the lion’s den here. With very little time to prepare and Chad only just recovered from an injury, all the logic says ‘Wrong time, wrong fight’. But we’ve built Chad’s career on taking risks and he wants to be involved in big fights like this, against the best names out there in K-1 and kickboxing.
“We were heading to the world famous Mike’s Gym in Holland this weekend to spar and train as part of our preparations for taking care of domestic business on The Main Event in Bolton on 7 June. But we jumped at the chance to fight on Saturday and, having agreed the weight, as ever all our focus has been on getting the job done.”
The youngest fighter ever to win an ISKA Professional World Title and the only UK fighter currently signed by K-1 Global, in the past 12 months Chad has defeated the previously unbeaten Dutch prospect Ahmed Astitou and knocked out Spanish giant Jorge Falcon in Gran Canaria. Now all eyes will be on this event as the 19 year-old from Nottingham faces the most demanding contest of his career to date.
“The pressure will be on Enriko, as he is the man of the moment and has prepared for this event for a solid six to eight weeks,” added Dean. “But we are going to give him all the problems under the sun and do everything we can to bring the win back to the UK.”