By Gary Mushrow [Twitter: @gary9690]
British and Commonwealth welterweight champion Sam Eggington climbed off the canvas to win a twelve round decision against Wales’ Dale Evans this evening in Birmingham.
Eggington was originally scheduled to defend his titles against former world title challenger Frankie Gavin, but the former world amateur champion pulled out of the contest after being clipped by a car just over a week before.
Evans started the fight brightly standing with the champion in the early exchanges despite probably losing the first round. However things were to swing drastically in his favour in the second as he dropped Eggington with a straight right hand after the champion lunged in with an uppercut to the body from the outside.
The 22 year old Eggington recovered well and seemed to have his legs back under him within seconds, as Evans applied some measured pressure under instruction from corner man and former fighter Gary Lockett.
‘Savage’ Eggington took control of the fight in the middle rounds as his better conditioning and ability to deliver hard shots to the body and head began to wear Evans down. His trainer implored the champion to go for the stoppage but Evans stood his ground heroically and fired back when he seemed at his most vulnerable during rounds ten and eleven.
Evans’ trainer Lockett looked set to throw in the towel on a few occasions as the fight wore on, but Evans came back with fire and took the fight to Eggington in the twelfth and final round, hurting the Prizefighter contestant but not capitalizing on his success.
Judges scorecards read 117-110, 117-110 and 116-110 in favour of Eggington, who now moves to (17-2, 9KO’s).
Kal Yafai won the vacant British super flyweight title, with a somewhat easy twelve round decision over Jason Cunningham.
The former GB standout amateur held a power, stamina and boxing IQ advantage over his opponent, who quite literally didn’t trouble the Birmingham native throughout the course of the twelve rounds.
Yafai scored a knockdown in round five, but it looked more like a combination of a shot around the back of the head and a slip, although referee Ian John-Lewis was quick to begin the count.
All that was missing from the performance was a stoppage from Yafai, who mixed his work up nicely to the body and head whilst managing to stay compact and elusive in defence.
Close to shut out scores of 120-107, 120-107 and 119-108 handed the vacant 115lb title to Yafai who moves on to (17-0, 11KO’s).
Matthew Macklin won a ten round decision in his first fight down at 154lbs since 2006, with a 96-94, 96-94, 97-93 victory against lightly regarded Jason Welborn.
The vacant WBC international title was at stake in what turned out to be a thrilling, all out, back and forth contest.
Both fighters seemed hurt at various stages of the ten round bout, with Macklin countering nicely off the ropes a number of times as Welborn provided the volume punching.
In the end, the judges preferred the more concise work from the former three time world title challenger. Boo’s rang around the arena as the judge’s scorecards were read out – whether disgruntled about the decision or simply Welborn’s fans showing their disgust, probably somewhere in the middle.
Earlier in the evening, Gamal Yafai picked up a tough ten round victory in a Commonwealth bantamweight eliminator against Nasibu Ramadhani.
Yafai damaged his hand in round two which caused him to neglect his jab throughout the fight, but the younger brother of the aforementioned Kal was not to be denied, gaining a winning scorecard of 99-91 from referee Terry O’Connor.
Further results down the bill saw Karl Wiggins pick up the Midlands Area welterweight title with a second round win against Rob Hunt. Craig Cunningham, Michael Rooney, Cori Gibbs, Dan Breeze and Jordan Cooke all picked up points decisions; whilst Zach Parker stopped his opponent Samet Hyuseinov just inside the four round contest.