With his fight on the aptly named HOMECOMING show just around the corner in more ways than one, pro boxer Chad ‘2 Slick’ Sugden is now heading into the final phase of his training camp for what is guaranteed to be a great night, both for him and for all his local supporters.
In the Main Event of the evening, the Suggy’s Gym 28-year old will be going head to head with Portsmouth’s Joel McIntyre on Friday 15 July, boxing for the English Light Heavyweight Title at Newark Showground.
And not only will he be walking out into the ring in his hometown as a professional boxer for the first time since making the switch from pro kickboxing back in March 2016 – in a town heaped in boxing history, both at amateur and professional level, never before has one of the big titles been contested here in Newark.
“The Light Heavyweight division is currently the hottest and strongest in British boxing,” said his manager and coach Dean Sugden.
“Back in December 2019, Chad was involved in a very close fight and epic battle against Craig Richards which ended in a draw. With Pound 4 Pound King Canelo Álvarez losing against Dmitry Bivol in the division and Richards subsequently being defeated by Bivol in what was another close one, Chad’s stock has definitely gone up so we’re absolutely delighted to secure this opportunity to face such a strong opponent as Joel for the vacant English title in what is guaranteed to be an electric evening all round.
“It’s been a long road for Chad recently, recovering after two shoulder operations. Having major surgery on one of your shoulders is in itself a big deal but to then have surgery on the other immediately afterwards was really hard, especially with rehabilitation still going on the previous shoulder as it was starting on the other one.
“It goes without saying that we would have preferred another warm up fight before stepping back into the ring at this level but in true Suggy’s Gym fashion it’s in for a penny, in for a pound – we’ve never ducked away from a challenge and we’re well aware that’s exactly what we’ve got coming with Joel.
“And for Chad to be doing this over at Newark Showground is even more appropriate, given the fact that I won a WKA World Title myself in the very same venue back in 2005. Chad was only 11 at the time but of course he was there to cheer me on and has great memories of the night. Now it’s his turn and he’s absolutely buzzing for it.
“Returning to the Lady Eastwood Centre at the Showground is going to be an extremely emotional experience for me but quite frankly this one will be even more special. Seeing Chad boxing professionally for the first time in front of all his local supporters, who will no doubt be raising the roof as he does so, will be truly amazing and the fact that he’ll be doing it for the coveted English Title is huge news for the town.”
“I can’t wait for this opportunity to get back into the ring and doing it here on home ground in front of the loyal fans who’ve followed me all over the country in the past gives me a fantastic chance to repay them for their continued support with the performance of a lifetime right here on their doorstep,” said Chad.
“A previous English Champion, Joel’s made it really clear he’s determined to regain what was his and the fact that he wants a ticket back into the mix for the British Title. Being the best in Britain at Light Heavyweight also means boxing at World level, given the quality of boxers.
“But I’m not going to let that happen – I’ve had some world class sparring with Callum Johnson and Mark Heffron over at Joe Gallagher’s Gym up in Bolton as part of my preparation for the big night and, come Friday 15 July, I’m going to put on a show to ensure it doesn’t.
“And as a season ticket holder and supporter of Nottingham Forest who was lucky enough to be at Wembley last month to see them secure the win that took them back up into the Premier League, I’m determined to follow in their footsteps next month and get the win that will see me move up the rankings in the world of professional boxing too.”
With plenty of great local talent on next month’s undercard, including Nottingham’s Joe Hughes and Ryan Amos along with the recently added unbeaten Kevin Cronin from Ireland, Dean and co-promoter Scott Calow of Boxing Connected are both certain they are looking at a sell-out show.
“VIP Ringside tables were all gone within weeks of the news breaking but we have a limited number of other tables seating 10 and priced £650 currently available along with a small number of unreserved seating/standing tickets at £40 in advance still up for grabs, and there’ll be a fully licensed bar and hot food available on the night too,” he said.
“But it’s very much a case of first come, first served so you’ll need to call the ticket hotline 07816 840920 or Suggy’s Gym on 01636 605708 without delay if you want to be there to welcome Chad into the ring in his hometown next month.”
Fight photos by Mark Robinson / Matchroom Boxing