Abass Baraou may have completed one journey when he was finally crowned European super welterweight champion back in March, but his exciting 12-round victory over Sam Eggington also set him on another path. 

The 29-year-old German won the European Amateur title back in 2017 and having the prestigious blue and gold belt strapped around his waist closed a circle.

Baraou, 15-1 (9 KOs), has been touted as a future star for years but had to overcome an early split decision defeat to Jack Culcay, inactivity and frustration before being given his shot. 

Having worked so hard for his prize, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Baraou didn’t consider sitting on his hard earned title and waiting for the sanctioning bodies to move him into position to progress further. He is taking matters into his own hands, staying busy and visible and making sure that the next part of his career moves quicker than the first. 

As soon as the bruises he picked up during his bruising encounter with Eggington had healed, Baraou was straight back in the gym. 

After proving his heart and chin against Eggington, Baraou will be aiming to remind people of this boxing skills when he makes the first defence of what he hopes will be a long reign against Wythenshawe’s Macaulay McGowan, 20-4-2 (5 KOs), in Bolton on Friday night. 

“Of course I respect any champion who stays a champion,” Baraou told BoxingScene. “You know what they say, becoming a champion is hard but staying a champion is harder. With this mindset, I keep going on and everyone else who does that, there’s a big respect for them.  

“There is good honor to that. If you just become European champion for one fight and then throw it away, I don’t think there’s much history to it. If you do a lot of defenses and stay as a European champion, I think there’s a legacy to it.”

The super welterweight division is waiting for somebody to grab it by the scruff of the neck.

Terence Crawford, is set to make his move up from welterweight when he challenges WBA champion Israil Madrimov in Los Angeles on August 3. How long Crawford stays at 154lbs may well depend on the desire of Turki Alalshikh and boxing’s new power brokers.

Baraou is ranked highly by the WBA and the WBC and defending his European title will ensure that he is ready and able to take advantage if and when opportunity presents itself. 

“There’s a lot of things going on. I have good momentum and I’m ready to take those fights,” he said. “It’s about opportunities. If I can jump into that position, I will do it right away. I think those kind of chances will present themselves. If they need a replacement, I’m here for it.”

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