WBC International champion Sam Eggington is looking to take on Spain’s Ceferino Rodriguez in a contest for the European welterweight belt, after being made mandatory challenger for the title.

Eggington, who last defeated Frankie Gavin in a fight of the year contender last time out, hopes to be back out as soon as possible in a year that could see the Birmingham native make real advances after enjoying some excellent momentum recently.

“My situation right now is that I am mandatory for the European title, Rodriguez is the champion and the plan is to get that fight”, he explained.

“It’s looking like the European shot might be a bit later than anticipated because he has time for a voluntary defence. We tried to get on the Haye-Bellew bill in March but that date might be a bit soon for it”.

Eggington, who initially started boxing with intentions of becoming a journeyman for financial reasons, has found a new lease of life through the sport, and now adopts the life of a consummate professional after good performances in Matchroom’s Prizefighter indicated he might be destined for greater things.

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“I haven’t stopped training since the Gavin fight to be honest”, he confirms. “I had two weeks off and have been ticking over since then, even over Christmas and New Year so I’m ready”.

This work ethic will serve him well in a year during which he intends to stay active. “It’s looking likely that my next outing will be a warm up fight on either the February Hull bill or the Haye-Bellew bill [in March].

“After that it will be the European title fight. I’ve heard there’s a Birmingham show in May so it could not land any better than to have a European title fight in my home city – I’ll be over the moon with that.”

Should he achieve his European ambitions, Eggington then intends to make his debut appearance stateside in what would cap a phenomenal year for the Brit. Former two weight world champion Paulie Malignaggi is in his sights, with the pair expressing interest in a meeting sometime later in the year, although Malignaggi is also keen to challenge Rodriguez for the European belt.

“We are trying to make that [fight] happen”, he revealed to Sky Sports. “We are just trying to figure out the status of the contest and have spoken to the EBU about it taking place in the States. As long as all the officials – the ref, the judges and the supervisors are all European, then the title can be disputed outside of Europe.”

Although born in Brooklyn, ‘The Magic Man’ is eligible to fight for the European title thanks to his Italian heritage, and held a version of the belt once before after outpointing fellow Italian Antonio Moscatiello just over a year ago. A clash with Eggington, with the European title at stake, would be another fantastic addition to an already promising year of British boxing.

“[Malignaggi] wants to fight for the belt in New York and I’m al over that,” he claimed. “Whether he wins the European title [first] or I do, I’m happy to go over there. It’s a good move for me in general. He’s a big name and if I beat him, people will start recognising me.”

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