There will be three big cards taking place tonight across the UK (this is far from ideal, as numerous boxing writers have already pointed out, as fans now have to choose which card to tune into when really, there should have been/could have been separate dates for the three cards). We have the Mauricio Lara-Leigh Wood rematch in Manchester to go out live on DAZN. We have the Luis Alberto Lopez-Michael Conlan fight, also at featherweight, in Belfast, to go out live on ESPN. And we have the Lawrence Okolie-Chris Billam-Smith cruiserweight fight in Bournemouth to go out on Sky Sports.
These three fights could give fans some great action indeed. However, if you’re looking for the fight of the night, it’s very possible the junior-middleweight fight between Sam Eggington and Joe Pigford, to take place on the Okolie-Billam Smith show, could be the one.
When has Eggington ever been in a bad fight? Never. While Pigford is one seriously hard banger. Pigford is unbeaten in 20 fights, with all but one of these wins coming via KO. The man from Southampton carries genuine firepower. But against the tougher-than-tough Eggington, a man who has shipped almost surreal amounts of punishment in some of his fights, with him coming back to win some of these X-rated encounters, Pigford is braced for the hardest fight of his pro career.
It really does seem as though there is no way this fight will not be exciting, violent, perhaps bloody, and savage. It’s also unlikely this one will go the distance. Eggington, 33-8(19) might be past his best, and the Lord alone knows the kind of brutal fights he’s battled through, and for a while now, some people have been calling for him to retire. Oftentimes, defense seems like an ugly word to Eggington! As Pigford says of his upcoming foe, “he doesn’t seem too bothered about getting hit, so I feel like sooner or later I’m going to hurt him and take him out.”
Pigford may well do this, but he might have to go through some torrid warfare along the way. Eggington never quits, and nobody who has beaten him has ever had it easy. 29-year-old Eggington, who has been stopped just twice, has been called “Britain’s most exciting fighter,” and his all-out wars with Ted Cheeseman (L12), Bilel Jkitou (W12), and Denis Hogan (L12) show us why. Eggington carries the experience and the sheer toughness, while Pigford carries the lights out power.
Who wins this one?
Eggington of the West Midlands is coming off a March stoppage win over a 2-5-1 fighter, while Pigford, the older man by a year, will be having his first fight in ten months. You have to go right back to June of 2013 to find the one and only time Pigford was taken all the way to the final bell.
Whether this fight becomes a war/battle of attrition, or whether it ends with a highlight reel KO, it WILL be epic. It’s unavoidable. Miss this fight at your peril.