Ted Cheeseman won a dramatic unanimous decision against British middleweight rival Sam Eggington when big boxing returned to the UK on Saturday in a unique setting.
Looking for a solution to provide a spectacle while fans are still unable to attend sporting events in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic, Matchroom Boxing chief Eddie Hearn organized the first of four “Fight Camp” events in his backyard in his childhood.
The sprawling grounds of Matchroom headquarters – still home to Hearn’s father and company founder, Barry Hearn – set the stage for this flavor of boxing in the COVID-19 era. The event was streamed live on DAZN.
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Long established as the sing-along song for British Boxing’s signature nights, Neil Diamond’s hit “Sweet Caroline” exploded into the Essex sky along with a string of fireworks and fireworks as Cheeseman and Eggington made their way to the ring.
Master of ceremonies David Diamante held back nothing during the introductory razzatazz and the fighters followed, backwards a rarity during an all-action affair.
Cheeseman’s sharper boxing prevailed early on – decisively because he got the 116-113 (twice) and 115-114 nod on the scorecards – and a thumping ball in the second had Eggington (28-7) in trouble.
But the Birmingham fighter, who defended the IBF international belt won last year by stunning home favorite Orlando Fiordigiglio in Florence, got strong in the middle rounds, leaving his penetrating prick and left hook Cheeseman with a bloody nose.
Cheeseman (16-2-1) again staggered his enemy in the eighth, but Eggington showed incredible reserves in a game from toe to toe and seemed close to the interruption he needed during a thrilling Round 12.
But the Londoner fired back and stuck to a triple, profitless streak.
On the undercard, former world title challenger James Tennyson Gavin Gwynne retired in six to win the vacant British lightweight title.
Next week’s Fight Camp will be marked by the WBC super featherweight clash between champion Terri Harper and Olympian Natasha Jonas 2012, as the series concludes with the heavyweight showdown between Dillian Whyte and Alexander Povetkin on August 22.