Matchroom Head To Liverpool With Domestic Fights That Look Set To Deliver
By Jack Price
This weekend on Saturday night we have a decent domestic boxing show to look forward to in Liverpool at the M&S Bank Arena.
Former WBO light-middleweight champion Liam Smith headlines the show against the tough and game Sam Eggington, but there’s plenty to look forward to on the undercard too.
European light-welterweight champ Joe Hughes takes on British champion Robbie Davies Jr with both titles on the line, Liverpudlian prospect & former Team GB star Anthony Fowler facing bitter domestic rival Scott Fitzgerald and the big man from Liverpool David Price against the unbeaten Kash Ali in some heavyweight action.
Whilst I can see all of them turning out to be good fights with a lot of action, I think the two picks of the bunch for me are the main event Smith-Eggington and Fowler-Fitzgerald on the undercard.
I’ll start by previewing Fowler vs Fitzgerald as it’s the one I’m most looking forward, along with most other people, and the one that’s most likely to provide us with the most action and excitement. The rivalry between these two is bitter and at boiling point so hopefully that spills over to the ring and the fight lives up to the expectations. With the styles they both have and how bad they will both want to win, I can’t see it disappointing at all!
Anthony Fowler, who is currently 9-0 with 8 KO victories, starts off as the favourite but there are a fair few who believe Fitzgerald (12-0, 9 KO’s) might just upset the odds or at least cause him quite a few problems. Both men are unbeaten, and it’s actually Fitzgerald that has had the more fights, but Fowler has faced a higher level of opposition and looked very impressive whilst doing so. The vacant WBA International light-middleweight belt is on the line, but the main thing these men are fighting for is bragging rights and pride.
The bad blood between the two makes it likely that game-plans will go out the window in this one and it could end up just being a tear-up from early on. This will suit Fowler as he loves to come forward and put the pressure on his opponents, whereas Fitzgerald likes to fight on the front foot too but looks to box and move a little bit more. Neither fighters chin has really been tested yet so we don’t know what will happen if either of them are caught flush but both carry power and have high knockout ratios so there’s a chance we could see both of them hurt early on if they’re swinging big bombs.
For my prediction, I’m going with a Fowler stoppage victory. I see it being a barnstormer early on, with both of them going at it from the start. It will most likely be 50/50 for the first 3/4 rounds but then I expect Fowler, with his hometown crowd behind him, to start taking over and start to wear Fitzgerald down. Fitzgerald will look to hang in there for as long as possible as it’s a fight he will hate to lose but I reckon ‘The Machine’ will get him out of there in about 8 rounds.
The main event has the potential to be an exciting scrap too. Former world champ Liam Smith (26-2-1, 14 KO’s) starts as a big favourite against Sam Eggington (24-5, 15 KO’s) but ‘Savage Sam’ has the ability to drag people into a tear-up, and when you get into a tear-up with this guy it’s very unlikely you’re going to come out on top.
When it comes down to boxing skill and technique, Smith is head and shoulders above Eggington and has the ability to look very good and make it an easy night for himself. But he is also slightly susceptible to getting dragged into a fight as we’ve seen a couple times in the past, and that’s where Eggington has his chance.
The 25-year old is a very tough man and usually can’t be matched for strength or brute force. He has one game plan and one game plan only, and that’s to walk through everything his opponent chucks at him and hope he eventually breaks them down. At one point this was working very well for him and he was looking like an unstoppable force but lately he has been showing quite a few vulnerability’s.
He was completely out-boxed when he lost his European title to Frenchman Mohamed Mimoune at the end of 2017 and was shockingly knocked out in just two rounds by Hassan Mwakinyo at the end of last year. His last fight was a points win over journeyman Sam Omidi in a 4-rounder last month.
I’m a big Sam Eggington fan but it’s hard to pick against Liam Smith here. Like I said, the only chance ‘The Savage’ has is if he somehow manages to drag his opponent into a war or land something big and take Smith out. I can’t see that happening though as Smith will be aware of the danger and will look to just box and move all night. Smith on points is the most likely outcome but if he lands enough he could stop Eggington late on in the fight.
But even if Smith is control it should still be a decent fight as you know Eggington will keep coming and force the pace all night, making Smith work at a high pace too.