Newark head coach Dean Sugden talks up Bailey Sugden's chance against Andy Turland
Something has got to give when Bailey ‘The British Bulldog’ Sugden goes head-to-head with Andy Turland, according to head coach Dean Sugden.
Bailey, who last fought in the Czech Republic in February after a 15 month lay-off, will make his return on October 9 at the Indigo at The O2 in London.
Fighting in the Kickboxing Grand Prix under K-1 rules, the Newark 23-year-old will face Turland, the number two rank WKO British fighter at 63.5kg.
With just under three weeks to go until fight night, Dean Sugden, father and head coach at Suggy’s Gym, said he was not worried about Turland’s threat.
“If Bailey is at the best of his game the fight will not go the distance,” said Dean.
“Andy comes to fight and Bailey comes to fight, so something has got to give.
“He is number two at 63.5kg and Bailey is number one at 65kg, but Turland can’t make his weight any more so he wants to move up.
“He is a very experienced fighter and he has been calling Bailey out for some time.
“But we expected this. Bailey has been flying all over the world fighting on GLORY while he (Turland) has been at home mopping up the UK. When you are on GLORY you are a target and people want to fight you.
“Everyone wants to fight the main guys, that’s how it is.
“If you look at Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury in boxing, everybody wants to fight them and that’s just how it is.
“Bailey has been number one in the UK for the past three and a half years and this guy has been chomping at the bit.”
Dean said he has to sometimes pinch himself to remind him of the things Bailey has already achieved in the fight game — using his GLORY fight he had at 19 at Madison Square Garden, New York, USA as an example.
“All of a sudden all of the more mature fighters are questioning why Bailey had that opportunity (which he won fighting in an eight-man tournament) but now the opportunity is there for Andy to get his crack at Bailey,” said Dean.
In preparation for the clash, Bailey has been sparring with Nathan Bendon, Muay Thai champion at super lightweight.
“We have picked up training over the last couple of weeks and engaged sparing with Nathan,” said Dean.
“Nathan has done boxing, K-1, Muay Thai and he is training for a fight as well. He could be a future opponent for Bailey, but for now they have been sparring.”
Dean said despite some inactivity, Bailey was as good as he had ever been technically.
“He is looking strong and he is technically good of course,” said Dean. “We will continue to push so he is in the very best shape.
“When this fight got offered to us, although we are the A-side so to speak, we had never fought on this promotion so we wanted to be ready for any outcome.”
With that in mind, Dean highlighted the importance of a good performance.
“While GLORY is reorganising after covid it seemed the perfect opportunity to get involved with the Muay Thai GP,” said Dean.
“They have announced a deal with ONE Championship which is the UFC of Asia.
“They (Muay Thai GP) are the feeder show and Bailey is still signed to GLORY, but it gives an idea and a feel as to how big this opportunity is.”