For once Sam Eggington looked set for a rare easy night, but while Przemyslaw Zysk was lacking in technique, he proved incredibly fit and tough as he lasted the full 12 rounds while Eggington claimed the vacant IBO super-welterweight title in Coventry.
Eggington, the former British, Commonwealth and European welterweight champion had made his name in brutally tough fights but is remarkably still only 28 and now on a winning run of four after losing a disputed decision to Ted Cheeseman for the British super-welterweight title.
Zysk came in with an unbeaten record of 18 fights but looked out of his depth as he looked incapable of dealing with Eggington’s pressure and punch variety. Yet, no matter how many times Eggington hit him, he could not shift him and had to settle for a unanimous points decision, with scores of 119-109, 119-109 and 117-111.
Eggington started fast and found Zysk an easy target early on, landing a right that had him holding on and then a decent left hook.
The second round continued along the same lines, with Zysk standing right in front of Eggington and getting caught every time the British boxer opened up, as he had success to head and body.
In the third, Zysk’s nose was bloodied and there were signs that Eggington was close to a stoppage, although he crowded his work when he enticed the Polish boxer into a toe-to-toe exchange. Still Zysk stumbled back to his corner and in the fourth round, as Zysk tried to land some big rights to turn the tide, Eggington took his time and began working behind the jab.
But Zysk was still there and started the fifth on top as he threw plenty of punches. Eggington, though, switched the attack to the body and Zysk seemed to unravel, moving backwards as he tried to evade Eggington’s work.
Zysk, though, was incredibly fit, as well as brave, he took more punishment in the sixth and the seventh saw Eggington land some clean head shots that Zysk seemed to just walk through.
By the eighth, Eggington was backing off and working behind the jab and by the tenth, Eggington, who had swelling around the eyes, Eggington seemed to have given up hope of a stoppage, while Zysk was landing and still coming forward.
In the eleventh, Eggington landed a low punch and, after referee Steve Gray called “stop boxing” he landed a left hook while Zysk had his hands down, but Zysk was completely unmoved.
“I seem to keep finding them [tough opponents], the last kid from France (Bilel Jkitou) was the same,” Eggington said. “It wasn’t one sided, but when I hit him, I felt him going, whereas when he landed his best shot it wasn’t really doing anything. In the first four rounds I went wild a few times and I didn’t really have to, so it slowed me down in the middle rounds.
“Every title we have won from the Midlands title - before the TV cameras, before the promoters - they were all bonuses, so to be here now with this one, none of this was planned, so I can’t say what’s next.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.