COMMONWEALTH welterweight champion Sam Eggington once asked his manager to make him a journeyman, but is now preparing to defend his title against Glen Foot in Manchester on July 18.
The 21-year-old picked up the belt in his last fight when he stopped Joseph Lamptey in seven rounds in March and will also contest for the vacant British title against the unbeaten Foot.
The domestic clash takes place on the undercard of Scott Quigg’s WBA world super-bantamweight title defence against Kiko Martinez, and Eggington sees it as a chance to prove his worth.
“I can’t thank [trainer/manager] Jon [Pegg] enough, I went to him and asked if I could be a journeyman, so he didn’t have to put any work into me,” he revealed to Boxing News.
“But he saw something and chose to put some work into me. I can’t moan, Jon’s done everything to help me out. When I weren’t selling enough tickets, he’d try to cover it for me, paying my train fare when I couldn’t afford it.
“He’s always said, ‘Dont worry about it because I’m sure sooner or later it’ll all come back,’ and this is now my chance to pay him back.”
Foot, a Prizefighter champion, is also aware of the importance of the fight and is relishing his first chance at a major title.
The Sunderland man almost lost his arm after a horrific machete attack in December 2013, but has picked up three wins since and hopes to add to those next weekend.
“I’ve had a few injuries, a few problems, but now I’ve got my chance to shine,” he said.
“After this we’ll see where we’re at, it’d be nice to win the British outright, that’d be great. But there’s plenty more in the tank to be better than British level; world, hopefully.
“I’m engaged and have a four-year-old daughter. She keeps me in the gym, getting better things for her and my family’s future.”