Matchroom Boxing returns to action this Saturday on DAZN (2:00 pm ET) in the United States and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, as Eddie Hearn and Co. have arranged for several weeks of fights at the Matchroom headquarters.
Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman will be the first main event on their schedule, and it looks well-matched on paper. Who wins?
I love this fight as a comeback for Matchroom in the UK, it’s not some huge, high-profile main event, but at least it figures to be fun on paper. Eggington is a very basic fighter, but one who’s had success — he’s a former European, British, and Commonwealth champion at welterweight — and has never let setbacks get him down for too long. He can be outboxed (he was by Bradley Skeete and Mohamed Mimoune), he can be battered by purely superior fighters (like Liam Smith), but he’s a fighter and comes to fight.
Cheeseman has had an awful run of luck in his last two, coming away 0-1-1 when he arguably should have been 2-0. He was simply outclassed in a European title chance against Sergio Garcia in Feb. 2019, but going back to defending his British title, he got a highly controversial draw with Kieron Conway, and then a controversial loss to Scott Fitzgerald in June and October of last year.
Cheeseman showed a bit more boxing against Fitzgerald, which flustered the eventual winner at points. Eggington could be relatively easy pickings for Cheeseman if Ted keeps that style, but Sam will be doing everything he can to force the fight, because that’s how Sam can win, and Cheeseman is far from afraid to get into a tear-up. I’m hoping for a good fight, but I’m firm on who wins, and I think Eggington’s aggression is going to get him stopped eventually. Cheeseman TKO-10
When I actually have to start getting in my bag and feel compelled to do some homework before making a pick, you know the matchups are probably getting better. I’ll take it. Sam Eggington is pretty tough and comes to fight, but his biggest issue is that he fights straight up-and-down. His head doesn’t slide side-to-side, only occasionally ducking down, and therefore isn’t too hard to hit by capable fighters because they can easily anticipate where to place their shots. That’s been his downfall once he’s reached a certain level of opposition. That’s not saying he’s a bum or anything, though, but more that he needs to be carefully matched for optimal results.
In that way Ted Cheeseman isn’t terribly different from Eggington, which makes this a good fight from a style and career perspective. Cheeseman has fewer losses and hasn’t been stopped to this point, which is probably why he has the slight edge in the odds at this time of writing, but I expect this to be a drawn out dog fight. That means this will probably come down to current form. It’s still hard to predict how this COVID-19 shutdown has affected every particular fighter, but I’m going to go against the odds here and take Eggington to pull off the upset win over the distance. Eggington MD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg
For everyone’s sake, I’ll keep the food puns to a minimum.
The most interesting storyline here appears to be Cheeseman’s choice of approach. In his controversial loss to Scott Fitzgerald, he abandoned his customary gutsy slugging in favor of surprisingly solid movement and a stiff jab. That shift might work against him here; Cheeseman might not be on Liam Smith’s level, but he’s a reasonable facsimile of “Beefy,” and Smith’s close-quarters bruising proved resoundingly effective in his clash with Eggington last year.
If Cheeseman does come out looking to box, he still has enough of an edge in firepower and head movement to get the win. If he comes out guns blazing, he should be able to get a mid-round finish without too much trouble. I’m hoping for a synthesis of the two, with Cheeseman’s jab and movement shoring up his defense as he advances, but even the standard-issue Cheeseman scrambles Eggington in a hurry.
What? I said “to a minimum,” and that minimum is one. Cheeseman TKO-5
I really like this fight. Omelette fun aside – I’d rather not set an eggsample of brie-lliant Dad jokes – both men tend to be involved in fairly entertaining scraps, to the detriment of their records.
18 months ago Cheeseman was pushed into Matchroom’s open slot of a “potential” next star. He triple-bogeyed his opportunity against Sergio Garcia, using his face as his primary defence and allowing the underrated Spaniard to dictate at range. Lessons have been learnt by Ted in an attempt to become more adept on the back foot, but after dropping a tight decision to Fitzgerald while boxing to a game plan, there’s a chance he reverts to type in this one.
Eggington is somehow only 26 but has had a hardened career of small peaks and bigger drop-offs. He’s too tough for his own good and struggles to implement anything close to a plan B if the fight isn’t going his way. He’s on a four-fight winnings streak against opponents with 194 combined losses and may struggle if Cheeseman comes with a game plan.
If these two go to war then great, but Cheeseman can’t risk this tactic and go four fights without a win. At the expense of a barn-burner, I’m expecting Cheeseman to mature and stick to boxing and moving, building on the smattering of success he got against Fitzy. Cheeseman UD-12