One of British boxing’s great entertainers Sam Eggington didn’t disappoint with a typically absorbing points win over wily former IBF 154lbs champion Carlos Molina at the Skydome in Coventry on Saturday evening.
Scores were 119-109, 117-111 and 116-112 as Eggington moved up in weight to win the WBC Silver middleweight crown against the sanctioning body’s No.9 ranked fighter.
At times, Eggington employed his underrated boxing ability before inevitably being drawn into a firefight. Mexican Molina played full part in a pleasing encounter. Afterwards, the Birmingham battler said he was open to offers for meaningful fights in the 154lbs and 160lbs divisions.
“I can see why the likes of [Julio Cesar] Chavez Jr, Mike Alvarado and James Kirkland couldn’t stop him and had trouble against him. I knew Mexicans were tough, but that was a good solid test for me,” said Eggington. “He was experienced and knew how to shrug things off. The win really puts me up there in the WBC rankings. I know I’m getting very close to a world title shot now, I’m happy to box at middleweight or super-welter, wherever and whenever the best opportunities present themselves.”
Eggington (30-7, 18 KOs) started on the front foot as per normal and a chopping right hand caught the attention of Molina in the opener. The Mexican slowly cranked into life, working the body, before a left hook sent his head flying back before the bell.
Molina regrouped in the second, upping his work-rate and punishing the oncoming Eggington with some stiff encounters. Just as Molina was in the ascendancy, Eggington’s heavier hands told in the third, with the stunned Mexican backpedalling into a corner after a volley of hard blows. Molina seemed to be feeling the effects of the Brummie’s punches, but he was still catching the face-first Eggington with relative ease.
The Englishman effectively employed the jab in a sedate fourth. His more considered approach paid dividends. A left hook made Molina dip by the ropes in the fifth. But the crafty Mexican found renewed urgency in the sixth, outhustling the Brummie before pounding his gloves in jubilation after the bell.
At the end of the seventh, Eggington’s heavier hands had Molina waning under fire. The Brummies’s right-hand work punished a tiring Molina in the eighth, but the Mexican veteran was still posing problems and a live dog in the fight. He was forcing matters in the ninth and chipping away at Eggington’s apparent lead on the cards.
Eggington poured on the pressure to head and body in the tenth, but was stung by Molina’s left hooks as the round drew to a close. The sturdy Molina slipped to the canvas in the 11th, but that was the closest he came to going down officially. He pinned Eggington on the ropes, but the home fighter reverted to his boxing and even switched to southpaw at the round’s end.
An aggressive Molina (37-12-2, 12 KOs) upped the ante in the last and bulled Eggington to the ropes once more. In an entertaining finale, a feverish Molina outworked the Brummie, but his late industry was not enough to turn the tables. The 116-112 scorecard for Eggington looked about right.
Main image: Hennessy Sports.