UFC has led the way when it comes to combat sports during the coronavirus pandemic and boxing is following its example.
Fight Island, which turned out to be a venue on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, was the hugely successful vision carried out by UFC President Dana White to ensure the action could keep rolling on over the past few months.
Matchroom boxing promoter Eddie Hearn puts on his first card since lockdown on Saturday at Fight Camp in Brentwood.
Indeed, the five-card fight takes place in Hearn’s back garden and kicks off what is expected to be a series of events over the summer.
Around 90 people are living in the bubble for Saturday’s event which is headlined by Eggington and Cheeseman.
Eggington Eager to Extend Winning Run
Eggington is the more experienced of the two fighters and goes into this showpiece bout with momentum after winning four in a row, however, he is a heavy underdog.
The Birmingham-born champion beat Italy’s Orlando Fiordigiglio at Tuscany Hall in Florence in September 2019 to claim the IBF International light-middleweight strap.
He put on a dominant display on the continent, earning a second round TKO triumph, and has since dispatched of Poland’s Daniel Urnbanski at Villa Park’s Holte Suite.
Saturday’s assignment is likely to be his toughest test for some time, but he looks well worth a punt to retain his title and can be backed at
4/1 to get the win.
Cheeseman Out to Prove Point
Cheeseman launched his professional career in 2015 and enjoyed a 15-fight winning streak, however, he has run into trouble over recent times and is winless in three.
A step up to European level in February 2019 saw Cheeseman suffer his first loss at the hands of Spain’s Sergio Garcia.
With the European light-middleweight title on the line, Cheeseman and Garcia went 12 rounds at London’s O2 Arena with the latter winning via unanimous decision.
The Londoner is yet to recover from that defeat and has subsequently drawn with Kieron Conway and lost to Scott Fitzgerald.
A win on Saturday is essential for Cheeseman’s long-term career and would go a huge way in silencing his doubters.
The 24-year-old, who sits at number eight in the British super-welterweight rankings, could move into the top-three with a victory – climbing past number four Eggington – and putting himself in contention for a meeting with second-ranked Kell Brook or top-ranked Liam Smith.
Judges to Have Final Say
This bout has all the makings of a cracker and should easily live up to expectations as the headliner on Hearn’s first card since February 29.
The pair both possess plenty of power and have demonstrated a good chin, therefore, this one looks destined to be decided by the judges.
Cheeseman’s loss to Garcia last year, which went the distance, was a hugely exciting affair as they scrapped it out at close quarters.
He needs to prove he has learned his lesson from that loss and will have to box much smarter to claim the strap on Saturday.
Eggington has looked comfortable when grinding it out in the latter rounds and that experience should see him edge this one on points.
The 26-year-old has won 11 of his 28 professional fights via decision and is attractively priced at
8/1 to successfully defend his title by way of Decision or Technical Decision in Essex.
*All odds correct at time of writing