One of British boxing’s most underappreciated fighters gets the opportunity to add another honor to his C.V next month.
Having won the EBU welterweight title back in 2017, Sam Eggington (34-8, 20 KO’s) has the chance to become a two weight European champion when he boxes Germany’s Abass Baraou (14-1, 9 KO’s) for the vacant super welterweight belt in Telford on March 1st.
Eggington hasn’t boxed since he produced an outstanding performance to stop the previously unbeaten Joe Pigford in five rounds last May. Given that some fighters appear less regularly than Halley’s Comet these days, nine months may not seem like a long lay-off but for a fighter like Eggington, it is an eternity.
‘The Savage’ isn’t one to make excuses and is confident that consistent gym work and muscle memory will ensure he hits the ground running when the bell rings to start his fight with Baraou.
“I think the ring rust thing isn’t totally a myth but if you’re in the gym, you’re in the gym. Personally I don’t think ring rust is a huge problem,” he told BoxingScene.com.
“Since I fought Pigford I had a holiday a week after and haven’t stopped training since so I don’t believe it’ll be a massive deal. I like to stay active and I would do if I had the choice but I don’t think it’s gonna be a big deal. I don’t have to hate someone or prepare for them to do 12 hard rounds. I’ll do 12 hard rounds at the drop of a hat.
“I think I’ve shown in a few fights - against Carlos Molina [W UD12 in 2021], Cheeseman [L UD12 in 2020] and a few others - that I can box but if it goes off and the fight lights up, that’s meat and drink for me. They’ve gotta keep it on the end of a jab or box because otherwise it’s fun and games for me and people know that so we’ll see what the kid brings and see what he can do.”
Rumors of Eggington’s demise are constantly exaggerated.
Although he has been involved in some thrilling, hard fights he has lost only twice in the past five years and collected the IBO super welterweight title and the WBC Silver middleweight belt during that period.
He was very unlucky to lose a decision to Ted Cheeseman back in 2020 but put in a lackluster performance after travelling to the other side of the world to defend his IBO title against Australia’s Dennis Hogan in 2022. The veteran Aussie relieving him of his belt by majority decision.
Although he seems to have been around forever, Eggington only turned 30 last year and looked as good as ever when taking apart Pigford last summer. Although fighters like James Metcalf, Caoimhin Agyarko, Josh Kelly will all be aiming to push on towards world level this year, if Eggington can beat Baraou and win the European super welterweight title, they may well have to go through ‘The Savage’ to get there.
“I’ve had people telling me from the start that the way I box I’d end up having a three or four year career and that I won’t be able to box like that,” he said. “Every fight I get it. ‘That’s another hard fight, he’ll retire soon.’ Well, if you keep saying that you’ll be right at one point.
“The Australian fight, I wasn’t myself at all and that’s why I got the Pigford fight I think. I’m not sure about this fight [with Barrou]. He seems up for it. His promotional team [Sauerland] have give me enough time to really get ready. Promoters can do little things to get one over on you but these haven’t. They’ve given me the time and everything I needed. Whether this kid is looking for an easy touch or something I don’t know. We’ll see.”