Inside the bubble at Matchroom Boxing’s Brentwood HQ, all 10 fighters scheduled for the first Fight Camp card on Saturday made weight and passed the latest round of COVID-19 testing.
In a day and age where the global pandemic can (and often has) scuppered so many plans, Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn will be pleased with exactly how smoothly things went on the eve of their return to live action.
The closest we came to any drama at Matchroom’s HQ in Brentwood, Essex was a slightly later-than-planned start thanks to representatives from the British Boxing Board of Control running a few minutes behind.
But when everyone was in place, things ran like clockwork from there.
The unique and historic card’s 10-round opener between featherweights Jordan Gill (24-1, 7 KOs) and Reece Bellotti (14-3, 12 KOs) will be thevery first to try out the unique back garden setting for Saturday’s card. Gill weighed in at 8st and 13 ¾ lbs, with Bellotti coming in half a pound lighter at 8st 13 ¼ lbs.
Second on the show will be super lightweights Nathan Bennett (9-1, 2 KOs) and the undefeated Dalton Smith (5-0, 4 KOs). Bennett landed bang on an even 10 stone, while Smith was slightly higher at 10st ½ lb.
After stealing the show at Thursday’s final press conferences with a fake moustache and foul-mouthed exchanges, unbeaten Fabio Wardley (8-0, 7 KOs) and Simon Vallily (17-2-1, 7 KOs) were much better behaved at the scales on Friday. With Wardley on the 16st button and Vallily half a pound heavier, their slugfest for the vacant English heavyweight title should be a heated one.
In chief support, James Tennyson (26-3, 22 KOs) and Gavin Gwynne (12-1, 2 KOs) do battle over the vacant British lightweight championship. Tennyson was in at 9st 8 ½ lbs, with Gynne just a quarter of a pound lighter at 9st 8 ¼ lbs.
And inthe main event, Sam Eggington (28-6, 17 KOs) defends the IBF International super-welterweight title against Ted Cheeseman (15-2-1, 9 KOs).
Both contestants looked very relaxed as they became the last pairing of the session to step onto the scales. And after ‘The Big Cheese’ weighed in at 10st 13 ¼ lbs, the champion registered slightly heavier at 10st 13 ¾ lbs.
Between all five duos weighing within half a pound of their opponent and the debut of Matchroom’s makeshift outdoor settings, Fight Night 1 promises to be an interesting few hours for all boxing fans.
Matchroom Boxing’s Fight Camp 1, headlined by Eggington vs Cheeseman, airs live on DAZN in the U.S. and Sky Sports in the UK on Aug. 1.