TELFORD: Abass Baraou (15-1, 9 KOs) landed the best win of his career in Telford, defeating former British, Commonwealth, and European welterweight champion Sam Eggington (34-9, 20 KOs) to claim the EBU super welterweight title. 

Eggington will have to decide where his future lies as he dropped to his ninth career loss in his attempt to become a two-weight European champion.

The pair engaged in an early feeling-out process, with both Eggington and Baraou exchanging jabs until Baraou took the infinitive and pushed Eggington back onto the ropes, which allowed Baraou to work the body. 

Baraou started the second round confidently, countering Eggington in the center ring as the local favorite attempted to establish his jab. Baraou again had Eggington against the ropes and he threw three shots to the body only for Eggington to reverse roles and pin the German against the strands in an attempt to make Baraou respect his power and presence.

The third saw Eggington’s mouthpiece knocked clean out of his mouth by a crisp right hook in a strong round for Baraou, and a similar pattern continued into the fourth. 

Baraou negated and then countered Eggington’s best efforts to fight on the inside. 

Eggington was trapped in the corner early in the fifth as Baraou worked the body and head, and Eggington’s face began to swell. Baraou showed no respect for Eggington, allowing him to close the gap on the inside and just slip, slide and block the veteran’s efforts. 

A quiet and tentative sixth, in which Baraou sent spray flying from Eggington’s head from a left hook, was followed by Baraou unleashing an unanswered five-punch combination to open the seventh. 

Eggington arguably had his most telling success in this round, turning Baraou on the ropes and unloading his own attacks to the body as the pair landed straight rights on each other at the bell. 

Eggington continued to bite down on his gumshield and turned the eighth into an attritional frame, effectively imposing himself to fight at close quarters in a strong session for the former British and European welterweight champion. 

Baraou snapped the pattern in the ninth, as a right hook halted the growing momentum of and turned the tide with fast combinations, which forced referee Giuseppe Quartarone to take a closer look at Eggington, who was struggling to defend himself and breathed a sigh of relief before returning to his corner. 

Baraou turned a quiet 10th in his favor as the German finished strongly while Eggington rested on the ropes. 

A Baraou left hook forced Eggington’s head to drop and his knees to buckle slightly as the bell rang to end the 10th, which caused Eggington to smile. 

Baraou dominated the next as a tiring Eggington struggled to keep the attacks at bay. Eggington had lost the spring in his step and became a static target as the round progressed.

The 12th and final round saw the pair embroiled at close range but Baraou’s shots were more telling. Eggington was tired, exhausted, and sometimes outclassed.

The fighters embraced at the bell. Baraou was awarded a justified majority decision victory to capture the EBU super welterweight title by totals of 117-111 and 117-112 against one unjustifiable margin of 114-114.