SAM EGGINGTON believes that beating Paulie Malignaggi is his ticket to the big time when they clash at The O2 in London on March 4, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Eggington puts his WBC International welterweight title on the line against Malignaggi in his biggest test to date, a first defence of the title he landed when he came through another major step-up in September when he stopped local rival Frankie Gavin in eight thrilling rounds in Birmingham.
That win continued Eggington’s impressive rise in the sport as he crashed into the top 15 of the WBC rankings with the win and is the mandatory challenger for the European title that was picked up by Spaniard Ceferino Rodriguez in December.
‘Magic Man’ Malignaggi is looking to halt Eggington’s rise and is no stranger to success in the Greenwich venue having landed the EU title in December 2015, but Eggington is determined to add the Brooklyn stars name to his CV and says doing so would make people stand up and take notice of his growing presence in the 147lbs division.
“I’ve taken every chance that’s been put in front of me with both hands and this is no different,” said Eggington. “Paulie brings so much to the table – he’s got pedigree, he brings a US TV audience and that means that my profile can go through the roof with a win.
“I want to make as much money for my family from the sport as possible, nothing has changed from that being the aim when I was just looking to be a journeyman. But I do have my goals in the sport, I’m mandatory for the European title and if I can win that, the sky is the limit, everyone knows I’ll take any fight with both hands and as European champion, those fights would be big, big fights.
“Success breeds success in big cities, we’re all doing well. The Yafai brothers in general are doing massive things and I’m putting in as much work as possible in to succeed. I’d love to follow Kal’s example and bring big shows to the city. I’m learning all the time and as long as I keep winning I believe I am capable of doing that.”
Eggington’s clash with Malignaggi is part of packed bill at The O2 topped by the blockbuster heavyweight grudge match between David Haye and Tony Bellew. There’s another spite-filled London vs. Liverpool battle on the slate as Hackney’s Ohara Davies defends his WBC Silver Lightweight title against Merseyside favourite Derry Mathews, while Irish amateur star Katie Taylor boxes for the third time in the pros.
Tickets for Haye vs. Bellew sold out in record-breaking time when they went on sale in December.