Chad Sugden is looking to strike ‘Big Ben’ and enhance his credentials after situations elsewhere thwarted a potential title crack.
It looked like an opportunity at the English light heavyweight crown was in the offing, but he instead gets in a six-rounder before 2019 is out.
Sugden was due to challenge Shakan Pitters but the fight was called off when his rival was paired with Craig Richards for the vacant British belt.
He’s instead a part of BCB Promotions’ festive fight night at the Holiday Inn Queensway, in Birmingham city centre, on Saturday December 21. The show is called ‘Seasons Beatings.’
It’s a match between ‘2 Slick’ and Ben Thomas, who has a chequered pro record but an extensive amateur grounding.
His opponent, from Bolton, took part in 78 unpaid contests and shared a ring with Dmitry Bivol, who is now the WBA world champion at the weight.
Among the scalps obtained at amateur level was a success over Lyndon Arthur, who now holds Commonwealth honours as a pro.
Thomas, aged 27, has two wins (one TKO), one loss and three draws on his pro ledger so far. He was halted by Ben Douglas in the fourth round of his debut.
Sugden, who hails from Newark in Nottinghamshire, also has one defeat on his standing, over-the-distance by one point to Alistair Warren at super middleweight in 2016.
The 25-year-old, a former pro kickboxer, went up a weight from there and has reeled off seven victories since, with two excellent points verdicts obtained this year.
First came the verdict over former Commonwealth boss Luke Blackledge, vanquishing his experienced foe by a 78-74 scoreline.
He followed that up by having his hand raised against Farouk Daku, seeing off the well-schooled Swedish southpaw by a 70-82 whitewash result.
Sugden now aims to make it a hat-trick of wins over 2019 ahead of Christmas, which would take him to 12 wins from 13 outings a pro, with four stoppages previously recorded.
He said: “Thomas should be another good opponent, I’ve had a look at him and I think he’ll be lively, but I want to be in there with someone that has a go.
“People might see how well I deal with taller guys, in this one. I’m 6ft, but this guy is 6ft 4in so I’m giving a bit of height away.
“I’ve been in some decent names this year. I was the underdog, on paper, against Blackledge, but I knew where I was at and that I could beat him.
“He’s a seasoned professional, but I was always going to be the better man boxing wise, so he had to take the fight to me.
“I won the first four rounds comfortably, he came back into it for a couple and then I was going for the stoppage towards the end. He pushed me all of the way.
“It’s the best result I’ve had, for sure, and it got me into the top 10 at light heavy, although I’ve dropped down a bit now because of other things that have happened.
“Shak won the English title, so he went ahead of me and I think even the guy he beat, Dec Spellman, is ranked above me because he was he the defending champion.
“What I need is my opportunity and I’m hoping to get a shot at some sort of title, as early as possible in 2020. I thought I already had that lined up.
“Me and Shak were supposed to meet, but he’s got a crack at the British title now so he’s concentrating on that.
“Arthur has got the Commonwealth now, which I’d certainly be interested in so maybe that’s something I can pursue.
“I’ve had a couple of eight-rounders, so going up to 12 doesn’t seem like such a big deal. I’ll be ready when my time comes.
“I feel a lot quicker than my opponents at light heavy and, obviously, I’m more comfortable at the weight. I could still make super middle, at a push, but I’m enjoying this division.”
Andrew Robinson is on the verge of getting to where Sugden would like to be and features elsewhere on the card.
Robinson, Birmingham born but residing in Redditch, engages in another warm-up before he challenges British middleweight boss Liam Williams.
The 34-year-old veteran, who is Williams’ mandatory challenger, is determined to add to Midlands and IBO Continental belts after getting to 29 pro bouts, with 24 wins (seven TKOs).
His finest hour so far came last time out, in April, when ‘D’Animal’ went over to Poland and handed Damian Jonak his first defeat, with his opponent unbeaten after 42 pro contests.
Kane Baker contested the English lightweight title last month and went down fighting, as he was outpointed by Myron Mills in a majority decision.
Two judges had champion Mills, by margins of 98-92 and 97-94, with the third going for a 95-95 draw.
Brummie Baker, a former Midlands boss at welter, now comes back home and makes the short trip from Bartley Green as he looks to get back to winning ways.
Baker will be determined to record a 12th pro victory, with six defeats on his record although all against top-level opposition.
It will also be the home corner in more ways than one for Moussab Abubaker, who is from Small Heath.
‘Breaker’ continues his efforts in the super welterweight division having outpointed Danny Little, Paul Cummings and Dale Arrowsmith as a pro so far.
Another Brummie, Matthew ‘Swiggy’ Craddock also features.
Tickets are on sale now, priced at £65 VIP ringside to include a buffet or £35 for standard entry, in advance. It will be £40 on the door. They are available by calling the BCB Box Office on 07493 582 261 or online here:
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