Ted Cheeseman claimed the IBF International Super-Welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Sam Eggington in an absolute thriller on Saturday’s Fight Camp opener.
Cheeseman (16-2-1, 9 KOs) survived a final round scare to end a run of three without victory, ripping the crown from Eggington (28-7, 17 KOs), as Eddie Hearn and Matchroom kickstarted their Fight Camp Series in the gardens of their headquarters.
Both men have had their fair share of wars through their careers and both began this one by planting their feet and letting their shots go.
Tony Sims-trained Cheeseman didn’t take long to prove his punch power though, as early as the second round with a huge right hand forcing Eggington to dip at the knees.
Instead of holding though, ‘The Savage’ preferred to fight fire with fire and bravely saw out the session.
’The Big Cheese’ mixed up his attacks to the body in the third and looked naturally bigger and stronger at the weight than his opponent, who continued to refuse to take a backward step.
Eggington, 26, has struggled on the whole since moving up from Welterweight and despite his best efforts, the flurries and power shots of Cheeseman were catching the eye more.
The two exchanged leather in the sixth and Eggington landed a good left hook, only to be countered by a meaty right from his foe.
The former European Welterweight champion did end the round brightly though and the seventh saw a continued renaissance, as he drew blood from Cheeseman’s nose.
There was fantastic action in the eighth, where Eggington looked on top until a jarring right hand stopped the Birmingham man in his tracks near the end of the round.
The 24-year-old sensed he could hurt his man, but was caught by a solid right from Eggington in the ninth as the fight entered the championship rounds.
The tenth saw a quieter affair, but the action was hard to take your eyes off, with both men having their moments.
The two went toe-to-toe in the final session, with Cheeseman seemingly hurt and out on his feet before firing back to rock Eggington in thrilling fashion, as the pair embraced at the final bell.
Judges Phil Edwards and Ian John Lewis both scored the contest 116-113, while Howard Foster tallied 115-114 all in favour of Cheeseman, who won his first fight in four to get his career back on track.
“I give my heart and soul to the sport and I’ve come through my problems,” Cheeseman told Sky Sports post-fight.
“I had such a great camp and it was great to have no crowd so that I could communicate with Tony (Sims).
“I bit down on my gum shield and gave it my all. I could cry my eyes out with happiness.”
“You always think you’ve done enough, but you have to watch it back and roll with the punches I guess,” Eggington said.
“It was a good fight, and of course I’d love a rematch.”
The vacant British Lightweight title was claimed by James Tennyson (27-3, 23 KOs), as he broke the will of the brave Gavin Gwynne (12-2, 2 KOs) within six hard fought rounds.
The former Super-Featherweight world title challenger has carried his power up to 135lbs and showcased his power with a measured win over Gwynne, who far from disgraced himself in defeat.
‘The Assassin’ is relentless with his pressure fighting style and started brightly, whipping in hurtful shots early on.
After Gwynne weathered the early storm, it looked like he would be there for the duration, coming on strong at the end of the fifth.
Tennyson regained control in the sixth though, with a big right hook to the temple forcing the Welshman to take a knee.
All of a sudden, the life had drained from Gwynne and the Northern Irishman never needs a second invitation to close the show and he duly did, driving Gwynne to the ropes, where a sustained assault forced the stoppage.
After two relatively quiet rounds of action, Fabio Wardley (9-0, 8 KOs) burst into life and comfortably captured the vacant English Heavyweight title with a third round stoppage win against Simon Vallily (17-3-1, 7 KOs).
There was plenty of needle in the build-up, but Wardley who is guided by Dillian Whyte seized the belt via a big left hook that stunned former Commonwealth Gold medallist Vallily with just under a minute gone in the third session.
The Middlesbrough man slumped back to the ropes where Wardley then teed off to force referee Howard Foster to intervene.
Jordan Gill (25-1, 7 KOs) won the crossroads fight at Featherweight, as he dominated off the jab to secure a unanimous points win over ten rounds against Reece Bellotti (14-4, 12 KOs).
Despite his apparent one-sided display, somehow, Phil Edwards only returned a 96-95 verdict for ‘The Thrill.’
Michael Alexander and Howard Foster scored a much more realistic 97-93 in favour of the Chatteris man.
Dalton Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) was given a good examination by Nathan Bennett (9-2, 2 KOs), but then uncorked a beautiful right hand over the top that ended matters in the fifth round.
The promising Sheffield Lightweight overcame a spirited start from Bennett to eventually take over and the finishing punch rendered the Merseysider unconscious, with the count strangely still being administered.