Eddie Hearn and Matchroom finally make their return after almost five months on Saturday night, from the backyard of Matchroom headquarters in Brentwood, on Sky Sports in the UK and DAZN worldwide.
Top of the bill, in what has been coined ‘Fight Camp’ is a real crossroads, pick-em type fight at Super-Welterweight, where the Sam Eggington defends his IBF International title against Ted Cheeseman.
Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) is on something of a must-win mission after a long, hard career at just 26-years-old.
Eggington has been around for a fair while despite, and debuted in September 2012 in a four round points win over Leon Findlay in Swansea.
His all-action style caught the attention of Barry Hearn, who touted Eggington as a future star, and breakout wins against Denton Vassell (TKO8) and Shayne Singleton (TKO5) enhanced those claims.
Eggington captured the Commonwealth Welterweight title in May 2015, stopping Joseph Lamptey in seven and added the British crown with a dominant technical decision win against Glenn Foot.
After a defence against Dale Evans, ‘The Savage’ surrendered his belts to the awkward stylist, Bradley Skeete in a March 2016 points defeat.
However, he shrugged this defeat off, defeating the decorated Frankie Gavin in a thriller, before knocking out former World champion Paulie Malignaggi in eight rounds at the O2 Arena in March 2017.
He followed those wins up by winning the European belt with a spectacular tenth round knockout of Ceferino Rodriguez.
Eggington would ship the title in his first defence, with Mohamed Mimoune befuddling the Midlander on his way to a split decision win.
A move to Super-Welterweight brought two low key wins, but he would then be stunned by the little-known Tanzanian, Hassan Mwakinyo in two rounds in September 2018.
This didn’t derail a meeting with long-term sparring partner Liam Smith though and after a comeback win, Eggington found “Beefy” too hot to handle in a fifth round stoppage loss.
Another two non-descript wins gave Eggington a shot at the IBF international strap and he was cast in the role of opponent, travelling to Italy to take on Orlando Fiordigiglio.
‘The Savage’ lived up to his nickname though, brutally knocking out the home favourite in the second round to give his career a new lease of life. Eggington was last seen in November last year, defeating journeyman Daniel Urbanski by second round retirement at Villa Park.
Opposing Eggington on Saturday night will be another fighter who loves a tear up.
Bermondsey’s Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs) has suddenly found his career at the make-or-break stage, after snapping a fifteen fight winning streak with no wins from his last three starts.
“The Big Cheese” turned pro in September 2015 and quickly gained a reputation as a one to watch with a string of knockout wins.
The 24-year-old picked up the English Light-Middleweight title in July 2017 with a third round stoppage of Matthew Ryan and stepped up in class four fights later to overcome the tough gatekeeper, Carson Jones on the scorecards over ten to win the WBA International belt.
After a swift fourth round victory against Pauly Upton, Cheeseman unanimously won a 50/50 affair with Asinia Byfield to pick up the vacant British Light-Middleweight belt in October 2018.
That remains Cheeseman’s last victory, as he suffered a first career defeat in February 2019 against the tough Spaniard, Sergio Garcia at the O2 Arena, in a bid for the European title.
Cheeseman took some big punishment from Garcia and bravely made the final bell, where he was clearly outscored. A move back down to British title level followed with a controversial draw against Kieron Conway at York Hall.
Ted’s last appearance came in October last year, when he finally handed his belt over to Scott Fitzgerald, in a contentious unanimous decision defeat.
Prediction: This fight should be one where both men leave it all in the ring, as they fight for their future ambitions. I just don’t feel that Eggington is a natural at 154 pounds, whereas Cheeseman is, and this could be the difference here. My pick is for this fight to be a cracker, and I lean towards the Londoner to take a close points win after a fair few hairy moments during the contest.
On the undercard, the vacant British Lightweight title is at stake, former World title challenger James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) tackles Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs).
It’s an uphill task for the Welshman, who has only fought at this type of level once, putting in a spirited display in a points defeat to Joe Cordina in August last year.
Tennyson is something of a highlight reel, knockout specialist and a former Commonwealth and European champion at Super-Featherweight.
A big May 2018 knockout win against Martin J Ward set up a shot at the IBF world title, but the Northern Irishman found Tevin Farmer too strong in a fifth round stoppage defeat.
’The Assassin’ has scored four straight knockout wins since that reverse, with his last being an 11th round stoppage over Craig Evans on the undercard of Callum Smith’s victory over John Ryder in Liverpool last November.
Prediction: I expect Tennyson to be a little too seasoned for Gwynne, and can score an inside schedule win by halfway.
Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) was a man going places after breaking out in 2018 and the start of 2019.
The wheels came off though against Enrique Tinoco, with ‘The Thrill’, down three times before being retired in eight rounds in a shock defeat.
Gill returned with a welcome points win against Yesner Talavera over six in Italy last September, but was forced to withdraw from a scheduled bout in December after being diagnosed with Thyroid disease.
In Brentwood, Gill meets Watford’s Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs), over ten at Featherweight, who has lost his way somewhat after a promising start to his career.
Bellotti is a former Commonwealth champion, but has lost three times in his last five outings.
Ryan Doyle removed his Commonwealth crown in June 2018 in five rounds, and then Ryan Walsh took a split decision win in a British title defence in December 2018.
‘Bomber’ lost last time out in Italy, shipping a tight split decision to Francesco Grandelli.
Prediction: I think Gill will prove the Tinoco defeat was a distant memory, and I expect him to take a clear points win here.
An intriguing Heavyweight clash between Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) and Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) for the English title is also featured. Wardley, who is managed by Dillian Whyte is largely untested, and Vallily has only recently made the move up from Cruiserweight.
Prediction: I expect Wardley to take this one inside the distance.
Rounding off the card is exciting talent Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs) with the Sheffield native stepping up to eight rounds at Lightweight against Liverpool’s Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs).