By Mark Eisner: In a minor upset, Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs) built up an early lead and held on in the second half of the contest to defeat Sam Eggington (28-7, 17 KOs) by a 12 round unanimous decision to capture Egg’s IBF International junior middleweight strap on Saturday night at the Matchroom mansion in their Fight Camp in Brentwood, Essex.
Cheeseman, 24, started off fast and got the better of the easy to hit Eggington, but the tide of the fight changed hands in the second half of the contest. Eggington came on strong, landing a lot of heavy shots that wore Cheeseman down. In the 12th, both guys went at it, throwing hard leather from start to finish.
The judges scored the fight 116-113, 116-113, 115-114. Boxing News 24 had it a draw. It was that close of a battle where it was impossible to pick a winner.
Cheeseman still has a long way to go before he’ll be considered for a world title shot against IBF 154-pound champion Jeison Rosario. he’s going to need to beat fighters more talented than Eggington for him to get the title shot, and he may not be good to do that. As we saw tonight, Cheeseman barely beat the 26-year-old Eggington.
“It was amazing,” said promoter Eddie Hearn to Matchroom Boxing after the fight. “I’m a hardcore boxing fan. To see it up close and to hear it like that with that kind of intensity was fantastic. So much to learn and so much to get feedback on, but in terms of the fights, it was incredible.
“It delivered well beyond my expectations. The last fight between Eggington and Cheeseman, for me, was one of the battles of the year. I would love to see it again. I think Ted deserved the nod in a very, very close match.
“Can you imagine if that were in front of 10 to 15,000, it would have been a fight that they would have talked about for years, and I hope they do because, for me, that was one of the best matches I’ve seen live.
“That was a great fight,” said Hearn on the Jordan Gill vs. Reece Bellotti match. “Reece tried to get to Jordan Gill, but his movement was too good. I thought he deserved the fight. I thought he won the contest by three or four rounds.
“There were times where Reece looked like he as getting to him, but Jordan Gill boxed really, really well. It’s a big move for his career. To be honest, a lot of these fighters, we talk about this might be their last chance, but if you look at their performances. Sam Eggington, for me, I think that was one of Sam’s best career performances.
“I think Bellotti can come again, but he’s got to look at what he wants to do with his career. For Jordan Gill, it was a massive win, and it’s onwards and upwards for him. Dalton Smith had never been tested before.
“He got chin-checked tonight, but he came back with blistering hand speed, great punch selection, and a showroom knockout that’s going to be seen around the world. So for him tonight, Dalton’s Smith’s career went through the skies.
“Very impressive because of the ease that he dealt with Simon Vallily. A couple of rounds, he looked good,” said Hearn about heavyweight Fabio Wardley. “When he started to put on the gas, a beautiful check hook from Wardley and dismantled him on the ropes. It was a real big statement from a young heavyweight that is very inexperienced.
“The Irish Golovkin,” said Hearn about James Tennyson. “Gavin Gwynne is such a lovely man. James Tennyson is too dangerous, and he punches too hard. He soaked it up tonight.
“There were times in that fight where I thought Gavin Gwynne might be turning the battle. It was unbelievable power at the end and an excellent stoppage for James Tennyson. He’s going to be a real threat at 135 pounds.
“There are big fights,” said Hearn about Tennyson. “I like the Jorge Linares fight. James is dangerous against anybody. The European lightweight title or the interim world title for James Tennyson. I think he’s done at the British level. For me, I’d like to see him step up and try and with the European title or maybe move towards a world title eliminator.
“I feel for Sam [Eggington] because he came out and thought he nicked the fight. It could have gone either way, but I think most people felt like Ted did just enough from his early work in the match. Sam looked like he was out of the contest twice.
Ted was out on his feet in the 12th round. He was back and forwards. I’ve sold fight before that were supposed to be wars but failed to deliver, but now I’m going to take the plaudits because that was unbelievable. Both guys leaned credit for themselves. I promise you now that Sam Eggington will come again,” said Hearn.
It would be interesting to see how well Cheesman does against these top ten contenders at 154:
- Jarrett Hurd
- Tim Tszyu
- Jack Culcay
- Julian ‘J-Rock’ Williams
If Cheeseman can beat one or two of those fighters, he’ll be in a great position to challenge for the IBF junior middleweight title against Jeison Rosario.
Undercard results for Eggington vs. Cheeseman:
- Lightweight James Tennyson (27-3, 23 KOs) defeated Gavin Gwynne (12-2, 2 KOs) by a sixth-round knockout. The British 135-pound strap was on the line. Gwynne hit the deck in the sixth, and after he got back up, Tennyson poured it on to get the knockout. The official time of the stoppage was at 2:30.
- Powerful heavyweight Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) was too much for Simon Vallily (17-3-1, 7 KOs) in blasting him out in three rounds.
- Dalton Smith (6-0, 5 KOs) destroyed Nathan Bennett (9-2, 2 KOs) by a 5th round knockout at light-welterweight.
- Jordan Gill (25-1, 7 KOs) by a defeated Reece Bellotti (14-4, 12 KOs) by a 10 round points decision.
Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman are underway right now in their main event fight on Saturday night on DAZN and Sky at the Matchroom mansion in Brentwood, Essex. This is a nice little British domestic level dustup. The winner will get a top 15 ranking.
Eggington, 26, will be looking to defend his IBF International 154 pound title against the capable Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KO), who has been struggling as of late with his abysmal winless record in his last three fights.
Indeed, Cheeseman hasn’t won a fight in two years since his victory over Asinia Byfield in 2018. Officially, Cheeseman’s record is 0-2-1 in his last three fights, but who’s counting.
Neither of these guys is going to be winning a world title anytime soon, so not an issue. Tonight’s Eggington vs. Cheeseman fight is more about which of the two can absorb punishment better, considering that both are easy to hit.
Eggington-Cheeseman should be an interesting fight for as long as it lasts. The winner of the contest will be given a top 15 ranking with the International Boxing Federation at junior middleweight.
Unfortunately, the loser will see their career pushed down, but neither of these guys is strangers to losing. They’ve both been around for a while, and they know what it’s like to come up empty in their fights.