Maybe we were unkind to warrior Sam Eggington. Maybe we overestimated Joe Pigford. Because tonight, in Bournemouth, proven tough man Eggington proved to be way too much for big puncher Pigford. It was all over inside five rounds, the fight – predicted by some (guilty) to be the fight of the night, this when action was fruitful all across the UK – instead turning into one man’s show. Going in, tonight’s fight was looked at by more than a few as a showcase of how much Eggington had left. While lots of people felt this one would be Pigford’s coming out party.
29 year old Eggington proved any doubters wrong. A man who loves a battle, Eggington ramped things up sufficiently in the fifth round to have Pigford, a year older but far less experienced at top level, in bad shape. Eggington’s hook hurt Pigford, and his follow up barrage gave both the referee and Pigford’s corner no other option but to end things. There was just 1-second left in the round when the third man dived in, this as Pigford’s corner threw in the white towel.
Eggington is now 34-8(20). Pigford loses for the first time in going 20-1(19).
Going into tonight’s fight, which took place on the under card of cruiserweight affair between Lawrence Okolie and Chris Billam-Smith, most of the attention was on Pigford. A proven banger (at a certain level, this really highlighted tonight), Pigford was widely expected to pick up his biggest career knockout. Some people even worried for the hittable Eggington and his health.
Well, Eggington proved he is not one to underestimate, or worry about. Not yet, anyway. Eggington put on one of his best performances in some time. Faster, sharper, and more accurate than Pigford, Eggington was the boss throughout, even if Pigford had momentary spells of success.
Eggington, who loves things up close and personal, unleashed a barrage of unanswered shots in the fifth, and through there was just one click left on the clock at the time of the stoppage, the fight was over with. Nobody will be crying premature stoppage with this one.
So, what next for Eggington? It’s his call, and he’s earned it. Pigford, in his first big career test, faces a tough road back to having anything like the reputation he entered tonight’s fight with.