At the age of 17, Sam Eggington gave birth to his first child and found himself working as a delivery driver to provide food for his family.
When the Birmingham resident was laid off, he had to find a new way to make money, and he had to find it fast.
That’s when the 28-year-old returned to the ring with the plan of becoming a “journey” boxer.
Nearly ten years after his professional boxing debut, Eggington (32-7, 18KO) will defend his IBO world middleweight title for the first time against Dennis Hogan (30-4, 7KO) as the headliner of the Super Saturday Boxing Festival. at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.
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It’s been a while for Eggington on his way to the top of the throne, even if a world title wasn’t exactly part of the plan.
“I did a little bit of sparring and coaching, and I still have the same coach, right away he said, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be a tourist,'” Eggington said.
“‘The way you box, it doesn’t work.’
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“I always wanted to go ahead, if he hit me, I wanted to hit him twice. It really snowed from there.
“We just took the opportunities when they came and I honestly believe that’s why I’m there because you have to be ready to take the opportunities.”
It is also a tour with an end date in sight, as Eggington’s manager John Pegg told the Birmingham Mail in June that the champion was due to hang up the gloves permanently on his 30th birthday.
That’s why Eggington is focusing on one thing for the next two years.
And it’s not the world title, regional or continental belts, although those go a long way to getting him what he needs.
“Belts are great for getting on the road,” Eggington said.
“But belts also bring money. I need a belt to support my family.
“The bills got bigger and the paychecks got bigger, but there’s always a goal, and that’s to make as much money as possible.
“Belt protection and waist support make it easier.”
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In his professional career, Eggington has also built a reputation as one of Britain’s most exciting fighters, and two consecutive Fight Awards from the British Boxing Board of Control prove just that.
It’s great value for viewers and viewers who tune in to Eggington’s battles.
But what about his corner?
“With Sam it’s like you’re driving a runaway train,” Pegg told Sky Sports.
“Trying to take it is not good. So it’s not good to sit back and say, “Oh, it’ll be fine.”
“You have to manage it as much as you can and hopefully it ends up where you want it to.”
And according to Eggington, that runaway train only has two gears.
“It’s all or nothing,” Eggington said.
“I’m here to defend my title, so I think we know which one I’m in.”
Against Hogan, Eggington goes up against a man who knows full well that he is a cat in his ninth life.
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This is the Irish star’s fourth bid for a world title, but his first on Australian soil.
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But for Eggington, who clearly doesn’t know about Hogan going into the fight, he doesn’t have the big fight he’s been waiting for for so long.
In fact, his motivation is more personal.
“Best of all, winning, I know it’s going to sound bad, but it’s not wasted,” Eggington said.
“I don’t want to be away from the children for two weeks. It’s not something I’m most happy about.
“So I make sure that when I’m away from the kids for two weeks, it’s all worth it and I come back with a belt.”