Newark’s Chad Sugden has received a shock dream shot at the vacant British Light Heavyweight title against Shakan Pitters next month, following the withdrawal of original challenger Craig Richards.
Previously scheduled to feature on the undercard of the event at the Coventry Skydome Arena on Saturday 28 March, Chad was training as if he was going to challenge for the 175lb title just in case Pitters or Richards withdrew from the fight and he had to step in.
That possibility became a reality when Richards was ruled out of the title fight due to a viral infection that has left him unable to train and the Nottinghamshire boxer now steps up to fight the undefeated Pitters in the Main Event of the Hennessy Sports show, which will be aired exclusively on Channel 5 in the UK.
The all-action Suggy’s Gym 25 year-old caused a massive shock when he held the WBA Continental Champion and number 10 world ranked Richards to a draw last December at London’s York Hall, where at just a week’s notice and coming in the underdog he fought the fight of his life to level with Richards and saw his stock rise considerably.
Thrilled to be challenging for the prestigious Lonsdale belt in the first championship contest of his 13-fight career, Chad now heads into a red-hot Midlands derby showdown against his Birmingham rival.
“From fighting Craig at one week’s notice and getting a draw and then being constantly in the gym training over Christmas and New Year looking for the next fight, to getting a slot on the undercard of the Pitters-Richards clash and now getting a shot at the British title is the stuff dreams are made of,” said Chad.
“I’m not getting carried away with it though. The reality is I’ve got to train like never before and make this dream real and win the British title. I’ll go into the fight the underdog and I love that because I know I can cause a huge upset.”
Shakan Pitters (13-0-0, 4 KOs) is not unnerved by the change of opponent and will not let that detract from his focus and determination to win the title.
“I’m just getting on with the job in front of me and winning the British title. I don’t care who is in the ring on the night, they’re getting beat, simple,” he said. “This is my destiny, to become British Champion, and nothing is going to derail me.
“The fight is still nearly five weeks away so there’s plenty of time to readjust from Craig to Chad. He thinks he’s seen chinks in my armour because of my height but he’ll find out for real on the night what he’s up against.”
Despite being disappointed, Richards has not lost his opportunity and will fight the winner out of the Pitters-Sugden bout next and aims to be at the Skydome Arena to see who emerges victorious on the night.
“After two weeks out of the gym with a flu virus, my manager and trainer Peter Sims has made a decision that I objected to but I understand it’s for my own health to pull me out of this one,” he said. “However, due to my GP supplying the relevant medical paperwork to the BBBofC, I’m still the mandatory challenger and will fight the winner of next month’s bout in Coventry, which I’ll hopefully be watching at ringside.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy added: “Chad has proved he is a more than worthy challenger for the British title after his tremendous performance against Craig last December, when to hold a quality fighter like him to a draw at a week’s notice was a great achievement.
“We’re sorry to see Craig having to withdraw due to a viral condition but at least he has consolation in the fact that he will get first crack at the winner for the title.
“In the meantime we have a real Midlands derby tear-up between a tall, skilled, box-puncher in Shakan and the rough, tough and relentless Chad which will make for an intense battle with the prestigious British title on the line. And with Richards waiting in the wings, it’s great to see a wealth of talent in the domestic 175lb division who will square off against each other.”
A top quality undercard is headlined by red-hot Cruiserweight talent Isaac Chamberlain from Brixton, South London, as he returns to action and back on his pursuit of a world title. One of British boxing’s most exciting fighters, Birmingham’s Sam Eggington, the former British, Commonwealth, European and WBC International Silver Welterweight champion, makes his long awaited return to the ring as he targets a world title fight this year.
The card also includes some great Midlands match ups, including a fiery Coventry derby between Welterweights Jordan Cooke and Michael Green over six-rounds; Birmingham’s Ishmael Ellis taking on Walsall’s Shaun Cooper over six rounds at Lightweight; and four four-rounders featuring River Wilson Bent from Coventry against Tamworth’s Lee Gunter at Light Middleweight, Tamworth Welterweight Tom Silcox, Birmingham Super Featherweight Lewis Coley and Leamington Spa Lightweight Danny Quartermine.
Also on the card will be exciting Middleweight prospect Michael Hennessy Jr from Sevenoaks in Kent, in his fifth professional bout in a six round contest.
Tickets for the show, presented by Hennessy Sports in association with Ladbrokes, Channel 5, Infinitum and John Pegg, are £100 Inner Ringside, £70 Ringside and £40 Standard Tiered Seating Standard and available through the boxers on the card as the event is already almost sold out.
For further information, go to http://www.hennessysports.com or social media: Facebook @HennessySports, Twitter @HennessySports and Instagram @hennessysports and join the conversation at #PittersSugden #BritishTitle