A capacity crowd witnessed Newark’s Bailey Sugden secure victory on the prestigious Road To Glory 2 bill at Grantham’s Meres Leisure Centre on Saturday.
The event saw 22 top kickboxers from across the country battling it out in the ring, with contracts to fight for GLORY, the world’s leading kickboxing promotion, at stake for both finalists in the 8 Man Tournament
GLORY fighter Sugden topped the bill in a featherweight super fight where he faced Jorge Rodriguez Davila.
Fighting out of Spain’s C D Noi Thai Gym and Hemmers Gym in Holland, Davila had an identical record to Bailey and also campaigned at heavier weight.
Sugden made a fast start, unbalancing his opponent with the first exchange. Davila came back but the Suggy’s Gym fighter’s superior movement and shot selection gave him the advantage.
Round two was much closer as the fighters traded heavy blows.
Going into the third round, the decision looked to be in the balance.
With about a minute to go to the final bell, it was nip and tuck with Sugden making Jorge miss before landing the more telling shots in the final exchange.
Two judges scored the fight 30-28 in Sugden’s favour and the third giving it 28-29 to Davila to give the Newark 19-year- old the win by majority decision.
Sugden said: “We have all been brought up on real fights at Suggy’s Gym, which is why we don’t fall over when put to the test, unlike many others who are just fed guaranteed wins.
“It’s the same for me as it is for my brothers — Chad and Regis — we are all still young but in every fight our dad finds opponents who will test us.
“That is exactly what happened tonight. Like me, Jorge is a world class fighter and although he isn’t on GLORY yet he should be.
“Fighting him, I was up against a real opponent who put me to the test and I came through it. Now I’m ready for whatever GLORY throws at me next.”
Ben Woolliss and Joe Himsworth opened the show, both landing huge blows and demonstrating great technique, in a match up that ended in a victory for Woolliss.
There were also wins for Ciaran Whitehouse, Dean Pattinson and Fraser Weightman.
'The future is looking extremely bright for Bailey'
In the first of two Super Fights, ICO World Champion Karl Johnston fought Dawid Blaszke, who was quick off the mark and soon had the champion in trouble with a barrage of kicks and punches.
The fight was stopped in the first with a victory for Blaszke.
The second Super Fight saw Adam Hadfield draw with current ISKA World Champion, Reece Rowell.
In the 8 Man Tournament quarter-finals, the four seeded fighters — Marcel Adeyemi, Sam Omomogbe, Giannis Skordilis and Alex Bublea — were pushed all the way by their non-seeded opponents — Irtaza Haider, John Cairns, Joe Johnson and Kyle Todd — but, as expected, came out on top.
Both semi-finals were cut short in the second round when Adeyemi was beaten by Omomogbe and Skordilis went through after Bublea picked up a shin injury and could not continue.
The final was closely fought, although Skordilis took the win with a unanimous decision.
Event promotor Dean Sugden said: “Despite the fact that we have been putting on shows for nearly 20 years, being tasked with putting on one of this magnitude was never going to be easy, but it’s a massive privilege to represent GLORY as the sole promoter of Road to GLORY in the UK and, in doing so, to be able to give the very best fighters from all over the country this platform to showcase their skills and more importantly the chance to compete on GLORY.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing how Giannis and Sam get on and I predict good things for them both.
"As for Bailey, the future is looking extremely bright for him and we have great news coming up which we’ll be announcing very soon.”