BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Craig Richards is still set to fight Shakan Pitters for the vacant British light-heavyweight title despite being held to a draw by Chad Sugden on Thursday night at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.
The Croydon fighter’s scrap was entertaining as both men traded freely.
Referee Lee Cook scored the contest 77-77.
Sugden had major swelling around both eyes but showed an appetite for battle and Richards was caught too cleanly at times. The South Londoner was clearly unhappy as the verdict was announced and both mens’ arms raised.
His opponent, from Nottingham, seemed far more content at the outcome and talked about a rematch.
Richards (15-1-1) is expected to fight Birmingham’s Pitters (13-0) next for the domestic strap.
Richards said: “Even he [Sugden] said I won. Everyone else could see I won clearly. He’s had over 200 kickboxing fights and he gave it a go.”
Sugden said: “It was a close fight, especially with me coming in at a week’s notice. On a Matchroom show I thought he might have edged it [because they promote Richards]. I think I nicked some close rounds.
“He is the toughest guy I’ve faced. I’d love to do it again – I’ll have a full [training] camp. It was probably the best fight of the night.”
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD