Size matters, according to Ted Cheeseman. The former British champion has vowed to use his natural size and strength advantages to crack a ‘fragile’ Sam Eggington when they clash in an eagerly-awaited 154lbs showdown on the opening weekend of Matchroom’s Fight Camp on August 1.
Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs) believes that his longer tenure in the 154lbs division will give him a distinct advantage over the all-action Eggington who originally made his name at welterweight, winning British, Commonwealth and European titles in an exciting run between 2015 and 2017. Eggington has since lost inside the distance at 154lbs to Tanzania’s unsung Hassan Mwakinyo and former WBO champion Liam Smith though he has rebuilt his career with a four-fight winning run.
Yet Cheeseman believes he has distinct edges in strength and skill, and will be able to adjust, whatever approach Eggington brings to the fight.
“I respect Sam as a fighter,” said Cheeseman. “He’s a really good fighter, but I think he’s a massive welterweight. I think he’s a fragile light-middleweight. When push comes to shove, and I stand there and start bullying him and dominating him in the middle of the ring, he hasn’t got a Plan B but I have.
“If it goes wrong for me, I can box. If I start pushing him back and he can’t handle the strength or power, he has to try and fight back. If that isn’t working what does he do next? I know I can box, I’ve got that Plan B. I feel I’m going to be too big and too strong.
“I feel like I’ll get Sam out of there in the later rounds. He’s going to have a go early on but as the rounds go on, he’s going to keep on getting hit as his defence is his face. Once I keep hitting him, the damage is going to come on top and one of the shots is going to land and he’s going to go.”
Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) was more gracious in his assessment, expecting a tough night, but ultimately victory.
“You only have to watch Ted fight to know that he doesn’t give up when it gets hard,” said Eggington. “I have full faith in myself and, if anyone can make him give up, I’ll be that guy. It’ll be a good fight while it lasts. The way we both fight, it’s going to gel for a war, but I genuinely think I’ve got enough to get the win.
“I’m confident with this fight. Eddie gave me a list of names for potential opponents and we picked him out because it’s a good fight and one we can win. It’s not a fight that worries me like others might have. I’ll make sure I walk out with the win. Any way, shape or form, I’ll get the win.
“I’ve never been in a position to have an argument for some sort of Eliminator and I think I am now with the IBF [International] belt,” he said. “That’s the aim once we get past Ted next month. It’s all or nothing for the both of us. That’s the way I live in general.
“It’s in the garden and there won’t be a crowd but that doesn’t matter to me. If I’m having a fight and it’s a packed-out arena, I want to win that fight. If I’m having a fight in an empty room, I’m having a fight and I still want to win. I’m going to bite down on my gumshield and do anything I can to win.”
Cheeseman-Eggington will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN in the US.