Eight years after his first television fight the career of Sam Eggington continued to entertain in front of the cameras on Saturday night.
The Skydome in Coventry played host to the 27-year-old’s attempts to win the vacant WBC Silver middleweight title against veteran Carlos Molina. The fight was the headline act of an entertaining card which was broadcast live on Channel 5.
Eggington, who seemed to have Molina hurt from round one, deservedly got the nod on the scorecards after 12 rounds. 116-112 from judge Guido Cavalleri seemed fair while the 119-109 handed in by Fabian Guggenheim was another example of a losing fighter’s efforts being almost disregarded. 117-111 was the third card in favour of Eggington from John Latham.
Eggington’s victory was his 30th from 37 in a career which began in Swansea on September 14, 2012. Three fights later the West Midlander landed a spot on the once popular, now defunct, Prizefigher competition promoted by Eddie Hearn. Eggington lost out to runner-up Dale Evans at the quarter-final stage before returning to the format one year later, again at welterweight, to go one better and reach the last four losing a split decision to eventual winner Johnny Coyle.
“Some people said he’s not going to have a long career. Try and find someone else who was on TV in 2013 who is still topping bills on TV now. His career hasn’t been that short! And everyone else isn’t on TV no more,” said Eggington’s proud as punch trainer Jon Pegg who spoke to Boxing Social today (Monday).
“Even though it appears at times we’ve took some crazy fights, a lot of them have been managed risks and [we’ve] tried to be a bit smarter than it appears on the surface. You get people at the right time or at the right weight or it might be riskier than it should be but sometimes you haven’t got any other options, so you say to yourself we’ll roll the dice and see what happens.”
It has been well documented that Eggington began his career looking to make a few quid believing he would make a good journeyman. His valiant efforts in Prizefighter caught the eye of Eddie Hearn’s father, Barry and saw the silver-haired sports promoter put himself in an advisory capacity for the team.
Eggington has never made life easy for himself, however. For every good win over a Denton Vassell, Glenn Foot or Frankie Gavin there have been derailments against Bradley Skeete, Mohamed Mimoune and that “stupid fight”, as Pegg described it, against Hassan Mwakinyo where his charge would be stopped in just the second round in 2018.
A narrow but thrilling loss to Ted Cheeseman in 2020 meant the career of Eggington would need new life pumped back into it once again. Working with promoter Mick Hennessy, which has brought in back-to-back wins against Ashley Theophane and Carlos Molina, now sees ‘The Savage’ with the WBC Silver middleweight title and a likely top ten ranking when the World Boxing Council release their new rankings next month.
“I was very, very pleased,” Pegg said of Eggington’s performance against Molina.
“We know Molina was past his best and a little bit slower but that was one of the hardest men Sam’s ever been in the ring with. Even though he had slowed down his timing was excellent with the left hook. The left hook was a danger to the body. Sam said afterwards, people talk about the Mexicans left hook to the body, but I didn’t realise till I’d been in with one.
“When we went heavy (pushing forward) it give Sam a chance to have a row with Molina. I said to Sam after the third round, put ‘The Savage’ on the shelf for tonight, let’s show people what you can do, and I believe he did. Carlos Molina was very complimentary afterwards. He said he was in great shape and that he had come to win. He said he had watched Sam and thought there’s no way he’d be strong enough to hold him off and didn’t think he could jab like he jabbed.
“We had to adapt. When Sam takes punishment, he can put himself into a position to box instead. Them other fights, the shots are bouncing off him apart from the stupid fight with the African which was crazy. The rest are bouncing off him. He feels like if you’re not hurting me, and I can see a reaction I’m happy to trade. The other night he said even downstairs where Molina was a bit fleshy, he was sinking them in, and it was like hitting bricks. He said everything about him was absolutely solid and that’s the time where you say today, we’re going to show a different skillset and I believe he did, I believe he showed some really good stuff.”
Pegg told Boxing Social of the weight difference on Saturday night revealing that Eggington walked into the ring at around 166lbs while Molina walked in around 185lbs to 190lbs. That kind of eye raising gap gives more thought to the future matchmaking for Eggington’s career. Pegg believes his fighter is still a super welterweight but right now he is in a good position at 160lbs but can’t afford to be continually going to the ring giving away 20 pounds plus.
“He’s not a small kid but he was getting tired because Molina was in the ring at 190lbs,” Pegg said.
“He was wrestling round and said I’m usually tiring them out and he said he was tiring me out. We’re not going to give the belt up because if there’s a voluntary against a decent kid, but not a giant middleweight, or a light middleweight who’s just moved up then we’ll have that. If we can build the ranking a bit more why not. The aim is to get a big fight.
“If there’s a nice defence [of the Silver belt] there, we’ll take it. For the first time in a long time Sam’s the number one priority, not just with me but with a promoter as well.”
Main Image: Dave Thompson