Sam Hardy and Alfie Briggs-Price feature for Newark ABC while Bailey Sugden sends warning to Andy Turland
After more than two years out of the ring, Newark boxer Sam Hardy returned to action with a narrow points victory.
Two of the town’s young amateur boxers were back in the ring at the weekend, fighting in the National Cadet Championships in Stoke-on-Trent.
First up for Newark Amateur Boxing Club was East Midlands champion Hardy (pictured celebrating the win) in the Junior Cadets 57-60kg Open Class, taking on Midlands champion Michael Sweeney from the Pat Benson Boxing Academy.
Shaking off two and a half years of ring rust, the 15-year-old from Newark went straight to work in the first round against his opponent, a tricky southpaw and awkward counter puncher, taking the win by a split decision at the end of the three-round contest to proceed to the next round of the championships.
In the next bout of the afternoon, it was the turn of his club mate and fellow East Midlands champion Alfie Briggs-Price, also aged 15, who went toe-to-toe with Wodensborough ABC‘s Ryan Scotland, another Midlands champion, in the 60-63kg Cadet Open Class.
Boxing in what Suggy’s Gym head coach Dean Sugden described as the best bout of the championships and after a whirlwind start from his opponent, Alfie settled down nicely — working body and head, and dominating with his speed and boxing in the second and third rounds.
“It was a really close contest and in my opinion Alfie won rounds two and three,” said Dean.
“Unfortunately the judges disagreed and he was on the wrong side of a points decision, but without doubt it was a great performance from Alfie who is showing himself to be one of the most improved of our young boxers here at NABC.
“And well done to Sam too for taking the win earlier, although his corner men on the day felt that one should have been a unanimous win rather than a split decision.
“Thanks to everyone who made the trip over to Stoke-on-Trent to support them and to Chad Sugden, Irvine Taylor and Steve Williams, who all gave up their time on Sunday to help corner the two of them.”
Bailey Sugden, who last fought in the Czech Republic in February after a 15-month lay-off, will make his return on Saturday in London.
With just under three days until he goes head-to-head with Andy Turland on MTGP’s Kickboxing Grand Prix at Indigo at The O2, The British Bulldog had a stern message for his British opponent.
“I know he comes forward and he likes to have a fight,” said Sugden, who will be stepping into the ring in the UK for the first time in over three years.
“He also called me out so I can’t wait to get in there and shut him up once and for all.”
Sugden signed off his short video message with a bold fight prediction.
He said: “Bring your A game Andy because I’m coming to take you out.”