Talking Boxing

Interviews, opinions, features and news from the greatest sport in the world!

January 31, 2017

Falling into place

 Jon Pegg, Sam Eggington, Paulie Malignaggi

Jon Pegg (left) says that Sam Eggington wants to fight for the European Welterweight title in May.

by Shaun Brown

Sam Eggington's trainer Jon Pegg says his man has got the least risk with the most reward after his welterweight 'Savage' landed a fight with American veteran Paulie Malingaggi.

The fight takes place on March 4 at London's O2 as part of the undercard to the David Haye-Tony Bellew pay-per-view bill. And Pegg is predicting that the former two-weight world champion will suffer his fifth stoppage loss when he fights in the UK for the third time in his near 16-year career.

"I think he's going to think himself, 'What am I doing in here? I've got my payday, I've got my commentator's job... what am I doing with a 23 year old who's six foot, and who's better than I thought he was,'" Pegg said when he spoke to Talking Boxing recently.

"Sam let [former opponents] Glenn Foot, Denton Vassell and a few other guys ping a few shots off him to get his own in. Paulie Malignaggi isn't going to bother him. And I just think he's going to think to himself 'There's a reason why I've only had one fight in 18 months'. 'There's a reason why I've been fighting older guys'. And Sam is on a crest of a wave as well."

Eggington had an up and down 2016 that began with losing his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles on points to Bradley Skeete, before picking up the vacant WBC International 147lbs title and local bragging rights when he Frankie Gavin in eight rounds last October. A bout that was a 2016 fight of the year candidate.

Pegg believes that Malignaggi will fall into a similar trap like other opponents of Eggington's have done in the past.

"Many times I’ve had people say to me ‘I’ll beat him easy’. When they watch him box, and when they get in there with him they come out with a bit of a look on their face that says: ‘Oh I didn’t realise’. A lot of them have said it.

"A lot of people say it’s not just how big he is, it’s how he uses his size. He doesn’t mind taking one when he’s in front of you. From the outside, yeah he looks like a strong kid, bog standard who comes forward, but you don’t get the wins he’s been getting."

With Eggington's stock on the rise, the British welterweight, who started boxing just to make a bit of money, is now mixing with the likes of the highly regarded WBA Interim welterweight belt holder David Avanesyan. The Russian is due to face Lamont Peterson in a few weeks and recently had Eggington in for what was a memorable sparring session, and earned high praise from Avanesyan's trainer Carl Greaves.

"Carl Greaves tweeted after (the sparring) 'I just think I've watched the best spar I've ever seen'. And Carl said to me afterwards, 'I've always been a fan of Sam, but today he's gone up a notch'."

A win for Eggington over Malignaggi would not only boost his CV, but would place him in the mix for a world title eliminator sooner than later leading to a possible world title shot. Eggington doesn't mind who he fights or what it's for, as long as there's a title. And a shot at the European strap could be next after March 4.

"He's still mandatory for the European and that could happen in May, and he wants to win that," Pegg said.

"This is still a young kid. He come to me (when we first started out) and said I want to earn money. I said 'You've got to have ambition'. I said, 'What do you want to win?' And he said, 'I'd love to win a Midlands title'. That's what he said to me. Four years down the line he could win the European. He wants to win these belts. You know how some people bypass them, he wants to win them. He's a young kid who wants to win them."

He may be a 'young kid' but there's an air of maturity about Eggington. One which is growing not only inside the ring, but outside too as Pegg can testify to after casting an eye on how his fighters were bringing in the New Year.

"On New Year's Eve I was checking on my boxers on Facebook thinking who's partying. I flick through and he [Eggington] was sitting on his sittee under a blanket, watching Disney films with his two kids. Even though he's got that mature side, and he's a family man, he's still a kid and he wants to win belts. He's a bit in awe of certain things. It's all falling into place."