Almost eight months to the day since his last fight, Nottinghamshire pro boxer Chad ‘2 Slick’ Sugden finally returned to the ring last weekend.
Back in December 2019, he earned a draw against Craig Richards on the Sky Sports show at London’s famous York Hall. At the time Craig was in line and the mandatory challenger for the vacant British Light Heavyweight title but, after he pulled out with a virus, Chad stepped up to the challenge to face the 6’ 6” Shakan Pitters.
Originally scheduled to take place in March, the Hennessy Sports show was obviously postponed as a result of Covid-19. “We wanted to repay Chad for stepping up and when we were able to reschedule after restrictions were lifted, he was the first to be contacted,” said promoter Mick Hennessey, adding that a lot of people thought it would make a better fight to headline Channel 5’s first show since the lockdown.
On Saturday 22 August, 26-year old Chad went head to head for the title with the Birmingham-based big favourite Shakan, in a 12-round bout held behind closed doors and broadcast live on Channel 5.
Speaking after the victory went to Shakan by a unanimous decision, Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden said: “Obviously we’re hugely disappointed not to be bringing the coveted Lonsdale belt back to Newark. But all credit to Hennessy Sports for bringing the show together, ensuring the safety of everyone concerned during these strange times, and congratulations to Shakan and his camp for a job well done.
“Although tonight wasn’t our night and Chad wasn’t at his best, he proved he can compete even on a flat night. A lot of the rounds were very close but we knew we had to dominate every one to get the decision, given that Shakan was a massive favourite.
“Chad got off to a really good start and finished on top in the fight but, with his 10-inch reach advantage, Shakan was making it awkward and Chad was just unable to sustain his attacks.
“But win or lose, each fight is a learning experience for everyone involved – we win as a team, we lose as a team – and the important thing now is to look in and not out.
“Being a fighter through and through myself, my first thought is that we can always find a way to win and realise our dreams. Chad is just 26-years old and yes, we have high expectations; now it’s up to all of us to use the lessons we’ve learned tonight to turn those aspirations into reality.”
“Having my usual massive support there would definitely have given me a lift,” commented Chad. “But all the messages I’ve had, both before and after the fight, have been amazing – despite the result, people get behind you still.
“I’d just like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of them for those messages and the love shown to me and to thank all my sponsors too – without them, my journey would not be possible.”
Photos by Hennessy Sports