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Bailey Sugden shows his champion potential

Bailey Sugden lands a punch on his opponent, Chenglong Zhang, in Rotterdam on Saturday. Photograph: James Law/Glory Kickboxing
Bailey Sugden lands a punch on his opponent, Chenglong Zhang, in Rotterdam on Saturday. Photograph: James Law/Glory Kickboxing

Fighter Bailey Sugden moved one step closer to his goal of becoming a champion on the world’s leading kickboxing promotion after a unanimous victory in the Netherlands.

The 20-year-old secured a decisive win against Chinese fighter Chenglong Zhang on the card of Glory: Redemption in Rotterdam on Saturday.

Bailey said he was thrilled with his performance in front of a large and boisterous crowd.

“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 is up to them to put someone else in front of me.

“I would really love the opportunity to fight Kevin VanNostrand (world champion) but I am ready to fight anyone. It is all about the dollar.”

Bailey re-iterated his intentions to become a world number one and go one better than his brother Chad.

“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, he said.

“People are already telling me that I have the potential to go one further than Chad, who was ranked number two 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.”

'Nothing and no one will stand in Bailey’s way'

Unfazed by being placed on the main card of the promotion, Sugden 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 one in China tried to use his range to keep Bailey away his attempts were thwarted.

Undeterred by his opponent using his Thai sweep to discourage him, Sugden sprang up to power forward again, slipping to the inside to hurt Chenglong with a volley of heavy hands and high kicks.

Three judges scored the bout 30-27, 30-27, 29-28, all in favour of the Suggy’s Gym fighter.

Bailey is now set to soar up the Glory featherweight rankings after defeating an opponent who went into the bout with three successive victories.

Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden said: “When it was announced that Bailey would be moving on to 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 is 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.”

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