Sam Eggington is just days removed from his next fight.
The Stourbridge super-welterweight returns to action on Saturday in a defence of his title behind-closed-doors.
Eggington, the IBF International champion at 154lbs, is a former forklift truck driver and insists that he is only boxing because he earns good money.
Ted Cheeseman, the former British champion and ex-European title challenger, will be the man in the opposite corner in the garden at Matchroom’s Brentwood HQ in Essex, London.
And ‘The Savage’, who won British, Commonwealth and European honours at welterweight before moving up in weight, is confident he’ll have more than enough to beat Cheeseman and has promised to cook up a tasty performance.
“This is just a job for me,” Eggington said when speaking to Boxing News TV. “People think I enjoy being punched in the face. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t, but if I could get paid the same to do a different, less pressured job, believe me, I would. It’s not about me, it’s about my family being comfortable and if boxing is providing a comfortable life for my family then that’s what I’ll do.”
Eggington walked into Jon Pegg’s gym and wanted to be a journeyman, he wanted to be able to have some disposable income to go alongside his aforementioned job as a forklift driver, but it was clear to see from very early on that the 26-year-old, who turned professional back in September 2012 at the tender age of 18, was too good to feature on the circuit every week.
“They think we’re lying to make it sound good. We’re really not. That is how it worked out. I had a spar in Jon’s gym and he said to me that there was no way I was going to become a journeyman. It sort of just spiralled from there.”
Quickly becoming a firm favourite of Eddie and Barry Hearn, there was a campaign going to get Sam a fight in Vegas or at least a payday that would change his life. That very nearly came against Brandon Rios at Wembley Stadium. Everything was agreed and signed for the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight title clash against Alexander Povetkin –– all he had to do was win his warm-up.
Eggington had been matched with Tanzania’s Hassan Mwakinyo and was shockingly taken apart inside two rounds at the Arena Birmingham on the same card as Amir Khan’s win over Samuel Vargas.
Back to the drawing board.
Since then, Eggington has won five from six –– the only defeat coming inside the distance to Liam Smith, the former WBO super-welterweight world champion, in March 2019 –– and is now in pole position to once again gatecrash the top level of his weight division.
“I don’t see why or how I shouldn’t be shouting for a world title eliminator if I beat Ted,” he continued. “He’s a good boxer but he hasn’t shown me anything to worry about. He was soundly beaten by the European champion [Sergio Garcia] back in February 2019 and then lost to Scott Fitzgerald in a tight one after drawing with Kieron Conway. That’s no slight on Kieron, by the way, because I’ve sparred him and like him a lot, but usually, when you get a draw as the away fighter, that means you’ve won.
“Don’t get me wrong, he has the ability to cause me a few problems but I don’t think it’ll be anything that I can’t deal with.
“I’d be happy to get out again before the end of the year and I’ll be on the phone to Eddie and Barry on Monday morning asking them what’s next.”