Bailey Sugden eyes Rico Verhoeven vs Badr Hari card after Asa Ten Pow showdown on GLORY 68
Bailey Sugden said he is confident his performance in Miami will put him on one of the biggest cards in kickboxing history.
The Newark fighter, 21, fell to a unanimous decision defeat against America favourite Asa Ten Pow on GLORY 68, and despite his frustration in the judges’ decision, he feels his performance was more than worthy of a win.
Sugden said: “He didn’t hurt or trouble me in any way.
“I know I won and he knew I won — after the fight and before the decision he even told me he would like a rematch and would be back.
“Well, next time I won’t be leaving it to the judges, I’ll knock him out.
“But before that, I’ve got my sights set on the biggest fight night in kickboxing history, when Rico Verhoeven takes on Badr Hari in Arnhem on December 21.
“I want to be on that card and after my performance I’m confident I will be.”
A close first round saw the American trying to attack Sugden’s lead leg, but the Suggy’s Gym fighter was happy to stand his ground, putting the pressure on Ten Pow with fast hand combinations.
Going into the second, Sugden pushed on and continued to dominate the exchanges.
With no scores coming up on the big screen, his corner said they wanted to leave nothing to chance.
His corner felt the third and final round was Sugden’s most impressive, as his right hand effectively countered the low kicks thrown by Ten Pow.
“We were all buzzing about Bailey’s performance on the night and absolutely gutted by the terrible decision, which went to his opponent,” said Dean Sugden, his manager and head coach of Suggy’s Gym.
“And it wasn’t just Bailey’s corner, fans and followers felt this way.
“Many of the top fighters and trainers in the 3,000-strong crowd at the James L Knight Centre agreed with us — they knew as well as we did that Ten Pow didn’t win that fight, The British Bulldog did.
“To say we were shocked when Bailey’s hand wasn’t raised after the final bell is putting it mildly.
“Before we travelled out there, we were confident that, if it was close, we would be celebrating a win for Bailey.”
Dean also pointed out the fight stats.
“The fight stats showed Bailey landing 25% more shots and throwing almost double the amount the entire fight,” he said.
“GLORY scoring criteria is supposed to recognise aggression and Bailey, who was pushing the pace throughout, didn’t allow his opponent to land without a return.
“So it was a bitter-sweet night for us all and especially for Bailey.
“He came, he conquered and did exactly what we’d asked him to do.
“But we will learn from this and use this injustice to get him even closer to his ultimate aim of becoming the most successful fighter to ever come out of the UK.”
Now, Bailey turns his attention to events closer to home, supporting his team-mates who will walk out at Grantham’s Fight Max Superstar Fight League kickboxing show, as well as supporting his brothers Chad and Regis, who’ll both be boxing at the Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham, on October 12.
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