Sam Eggington defeats previously unbeaten Bilel Jkitou by split decision
Hard-nosed Sam Eggington saw off the valiant effort of previously unbeaten Bilel Jkitou by 12-round split decision in an excellent fight at the Skydome, in Coventry, England.
Although it was a competitive fight, Eggington appeared to just about have the upper hand and was awarded the decision. However, one judge sided with Jkitou 116-112 but was outvoted by his two colleagues who had Eggington ahead 117-111 and 117-112.
From the opening bell there was no feeling out process with both fighters taking the action to the other. Each man had their successes in the first couple of rounds as the fight was fought at a frenetic pace.
While Eggington (31-7, 18 knockouts) isn’t world class he more than makes up for that with his all-action, give one to take one, made for TV style approach. Try as he might to box behind the jab – and he did on occasion in the fourth – he can’t help himself; he loves to get into a scrap and this was no different. He was caught on the ropes but after gathering himself was firing back by the final moments of the round.
The Birmingham battler, who is still only 27, was the busier man though began to show signs of wear and tear with his right eye swelling from the mid-rounds.
When the Frenchman slowed it suited Eggington, who maintained his work rate and while the fight was always back and forth, he seemed to be winning the rounds.
Jkitou (15-1, 6 KOs) needed a second wind and though he was still dangerous he couldn’t do enough to halt the busier British fighter. He started round eight and nine well but slowed down as the rounds progressed.
Eggington’s championship round experience stood him in good stead and while both landed barrages of punches he always looked to answer his rival and again had a busier work rate.
The final round as many of the previous one’s were, was a cracker. Neither guy relented and the exchanges continued to the final bell.
Afterwards Eggington gave Jkitou credit but admitted to getting caught between styles.
“I think I made harder work of it than I should of,” said Eggington. “I should have boxed more, I was caught between boxing and having a war. I fought a split [decision] was a bit harsh, I thought he won a few rounds, more than he should have done.
“I probably could have made easier work of it but I didn’t, we got the win and we move on.”
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