By: Ste Rowen
The setting was Tuscany Hall in Florence. The prize; the IBF ‘International’ 154lb belt, but despite there being two fighters in the ring, there was only one man ready to bring the night to an early end and silence the Italian crowd as Sam ‘The Savage’ Eggington blitzed Orlando Fiordigiglio inside two rounds to improve his record to 27-6 (16KOs) and secure his first staple win at junior-middleweight.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
The younger man, Eggington, at 25 made the sharper start as he laid off a steady jab and forced the home fighter onto the back foot through the first round, but it was at the end of the second that the Englishman really made his mark. With less than a minute to go in round two Sam unleashed a savage volley of punches that were constantly unanswered by Fiordigiglio, who despite having the crowd behind him, couldn’t force himself off the ropes or avoid the referee stepping in to end the night early.
Now the ‘International’ champion at junior-middleweight with the IBF, the ‘Savage’ will be aiming for a high-profile name in the near future whilst the top of the 154lb division remains in a state of the unknown due as it stands.
On the undercard, Luther Clay beat the previously undefeated Italian, Dario Morello to not only move to 12-1 (5KOs) but also jump ahead of his Italian foe into the WBO rankings and enter the top 15. Morello was 15-0 heading into tonight, but over ten rounds, including two knockdowns, the ‘Spartan’ who was getting ahead of himself in talking about future bouts in the pre-fight build-up, was outclassed and ultimately dropped a decision of 98-90 (x3) all for Luther ‘Black Panther’ Clay.
Devis Boschiero claimed a slightly controversial 8th round stoppage due to cuts over Ivan Thomas to claim the IBF ‘Inter-Continental’ super-featherweight title. Though Boschiero improves to 47-6-2 (21KOs), Thomas’ corner felt the cut was caused by an accidental head butt in which case it should have gone to the scorecards. It’s still unknown if Ivan will appeal the decision.
By: Ste Rowen
Midweek boxing is always a strange event in Europe. It confuses the consumer because many end up wondering if the promo material has made a mistake with the dates printed on its posters or whether there is something other than waiting for the weekend to do, but then again maybe that’s just me.
Either way, tonight at Tuscany Hall in Florence, IBF ‘International’ junior middleweight champion, Orlando Fiordigiglio takes on former European 147lb titlist, Sam Eggington for another Opi Since 82 & Matchroom Italia promotion.
35-year-old, Fiordigiglio resides in Arezzo, just over an hour from Tuscany Hall and, but for one bout, has fought exclusively in Italy building a record of 31-2 (13KOs). Last time out, Orlando claimed the vacant minor 154lb belt with a split decision victory over Stephen Danyo, a win that arguably stands as the Italian’s only second standout win alongside his 2014 7th round knockout of a then 42-7, Ruben Varon for the EBU strap.
17-0 at the time of the 2014 victory, Fiordigiglio kept to the fringes which almost definitely negatively affected towards his two defeats; the first in 2015, an 11th round stoppage by Cedric Vitu and then four bouts ago, the Italian dropped a split decision to 25-6-2, Zakaria Attou on away turf in France. But four wins on, Orlando is confident he and his trainer will adapt to arguably they’re most high-profile event yet,
‘‘He likes to brawl. I’m ready for him. Me and my trainer, Meo Gordini have found the right strategy to beat Eggington. My coach needs only a few minutes to understand a fighter’s style, strengths and faults.’’
Sam Eggington on the other hand has had a pretty rough time of it since moving up to 154b after his successful career run at welterweight. ‘The Savage’ 26-6 (15KOs) is still only 25 but has already been through the ringer since deciding to campaign at junior middle. Five wins and two stoppage losses, Sam was overmatched in March of this year when he was put in with former WBO champion, Liam Smith in a domestic bout that was never going to be competitive and played out as such when Smith took just five rounds to take his less experienced foe out.
Since then, Eggington has fought and won twice; decision victories over opponents with a combined record of 14-160-4 (2KOs), and his biggest performances have certainly been at the weight division below, and the Birmingham native, whilst recognising that, seems to be leaving his talking for Thursday’s bout once he’s in the ring,
‘‘I didn’t see Fiordigiglio, I never watch my opponent’s videos. That’s my coach’s job. At this level there are no easy fights. I’m well prepared and as I’ve already fought four times this year…I’m always in the gym. I’m ready for Fiordigiglio and I want to win the ‘International’ belt.’’
The second fight of note taking place, and most likely to be fight of the night will see welterweights Dario Morello of Calabria step into the ring with Luther Clay. The ‘Spartan’ Morello, 15-0 (2KOs) whilst being complimentary of his opponent in the build-up is already looking ahead to bigger nights fighting for the continent’s notable belts, as he told World Boxing News,
‘‘Luther is a good fighter, but we know how to defeat him…When I watch the fights of European champion, David Avenesyan I imagine myself in the ring against him, I know that I can beat him.’’
23-year-old Luther ‘Black Panther’ Clay was born in South Africa before moving to Bracknell in England at the age of six. The measured, but quick-hitting 147lber made a subtle challenge to stand and fight when the two meet,
‘‘Morello is a busy switch hitter, calls himself the ‘Spartan’, so let’s see if he’s going to fight or run. It should be a very interesting fight.’’
Morello currently sits 15th in the WBO’s rankings, so victory tonight should see the winner next in line to face the winner of the Avenesyan vs. Kerman Lejerraga rematch which takes place next week.
Tuscany Hall attendants will also be treated to another IBF minor belt matchup, this time at super-featherweight for the vacant Inter-Continental strap between Italian, Devis Boschiero, 47-6-2 (21KOs) and Ivan Thomas, 9-0-1 (3KOs) of Spain.
Forza Thursday boxing!
By: Ste Rowen
In his first fight in Liverpool for almost three years, former WBO junior-middleweight champion, Liam Smith made easy work of Sam Eggington, stopping the former European welterweight champion in five rounds to claim the WBC ‘Silver’ belt and hopefully send a message to the rest of the 154lb division.
‘Beefy’ Smith took the front foot immediately and dominated the early rounds, sticking Eggington in reverse and a small cut that that opened up on Sam’s right eye was the early signal of Smith’s dominance. There was nothing fancy in Liam’s display but the speed of which he threw his punches and the power that went into them were clearly far too much for Eggington to keep the bout competitive. ‘The Savage’ seems to know no other way of fighting, whether on top or in adversity, Eggington wants to swing, wants to fight, but Smith was too much.
Photo Credit: Matchroom Boxing Twitter Account
It proved as in round five, with his opponent stuck in the corner, Smith landed power shot after power shot without reply until the referee decided enough was enough and ended the main event.
‘‘Shot wise I was good, accuracy wise I was sloppy at times, my footwork.’’ Smith, now 27-2-1 (15KOs) said post-fight. ‘‘I didn’t really have respect for Sam’s power, I put it down to that.
I had the worst camp ever, niggly injuries…Give me two fights, then give me anyone at the end of the year.’’
Having held a world title at 154lb and, losing out to Mexican Jaime Munguia for his old belt last year, the target for Liam Smith must be for another shot at the championship belts before the end of 2019.
Anthony Fowler vs. Scott Fitzgerald
A domestic dustup that promised much and certainly delivered saw Scott Fitzgerald drop Anthony Fowler en route to a split decision victory in a fantastic 10-round bout.
It slowly but surely turned into the biggest fight of the card, even overshadowing tonight’s main event, but when junior-middleweight and domestic rivals, Fowler and Fitzgerald entered the ring, the atmosphere in Liverpool was palpable.
It was an intriguing battle for the middle of the ring in the early rounds, with both fighters mirroring the other for punches thrown, although Fowler’s variety of shots seemed more likely to appeal to the judges. But Fowler, 9-0 (8KOs) heading into tonight, suffered through the middle rounds, appearing to tire as Scott began to get more efficient with his punches. Anthony unleashed a barrage of punches in the 9th that clearly affected Fitzgerald as Scott threw very little for the rest of the round.
As volume from the crowd increased, as did Fowler’s attack. The scouser began to have his hands low and felt more comfortable throwing but it wasn’t enough to get his opponent out in that particular round. With just over a minute to go of the 10th and final round, Fitzgerald unleashed a power shot selection that dropped Fowler, and as we were to find out, the 10-8 round was crucial. The final scorecards were,96-94 for Fowler and 95-94 (x2) for Fitzgerald.
Now 13-0 (9KOs) Scott spoke post-fight,
‘‘He’s a tough, big, strong man who just doesn’t stop coming forward… I could hit him with a bat he’d still keep going.
The fight with Ted (Cheeseman) can be made and after that, the rematch.’’
Fowler was magnanimous in defeat,
‘‘I went down, I wasn’t hurt but, fair play I don’t know how he was still standing in the 9th. I don’t like the kid, but he was the better man tonight.’’
David Price vs. Kash Ali
A heavyweight clash to warmup the crowd saw a truly bizarre conclusion as in the 5th round of David Price vs. Kash Ali, the two men toppled over together, and it appeared that Kash Ali bit David whilst they were on the canvas. The Liverpudlian, Price landed a heavy right hook which shook Ali, who entered the fight unbeaten as a pro, and forced him to go for the clinch which resulted in a full-blown tackle, and while Ali lay on top of Price, Kash bit David and hard enough to leave a mark on Price’s body. The official result was confirmed as victory for David Price via disqualification.
Price, now 24-6, spoke immediately after,
‘‘It’s a disappointing way to win. He was in the fight and lost his head, but I hurt him to the body…I don’t wanna share the ring with an animal like that again.
I’ve got the win and we move on. The winner of Lucas Browne and Dave Allen is a fight I’m definitely interested in.’’
Joe Hughes vs. Robbie Davies Jr
One of two super-lightweight title fights on tonight’s Liverpool card saw Joe Hughes and Robbie Davies Jr go hell-for-leather for the EBU European and British belts and in what turned into a close shoot-out over twelve rounds, Davies Jr emerged the winner, with the mixed final scorecards coming back as, 118-110 115-113 115-114 all for Davies.
Robbie, now moves to 18-1 (12KOs) and, with a swollen right eye, spoke post-fight,
‘‘Just grinded it out like you wouldn’t believe. He was like a pitbull…When you have the British and the European, people take notice.
I’m just hoping to push on for a world title now. I honestly don’t believe anyone can beat me domestically.’’
Fighting for the Commonwealth super-lightweight belt, southpaw Philip Bowes improved to 20-3 (3KOs) and defended the rainbow belt for the first time since taking ownership of the title in February with a unanimous decision victory over home fighter, Tom Farrell. Final scorecards were returned as, 118-110 118-111 117-112 all for Philip but it was a lively back-and-forth, if scrappy at times, but the more composed, and measured in his punches-fighter in ‘Quicksilver’ Bowes, saw him get the nod from the judges.
Craig Glover suffered a surprise knockout defeat at the hands of the now, 14-7 Vaclav Pejsar of the Czech Republic. Glover, who impressed in his last outing with a stoppage victory over Simon Vallily, hit the canvas twice en route to a second-round stoppage loss, shifting his pro record now to 9-2 (8KOs).
Returning to the ring for the first time since her surprise first pro-defeat, Natasha Jonas, scored a 60-54 decision victory over 7-2, Feriche Mashauri. Jonas said she’s aiming for the rematch with Viviane Obenauf next.