Hellraiser Boxing News | The Hellraiser Weekender: Chris Eubank Jr- For The Record
The Hellraiser Weekender: Chris Eubank Jr- For The Record. For The Record is a series that discusses a boxer's five most recent opponents, and explores what progress those opponents have made since facing them.
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by Matt Lewis
For The Record is a series that discusses a boxer's five most recent opponents, and explores what progress those opponents have made since facing them.
Last time we looked at the 5 most recent opponents of George Groves. This time, we look at those of IBO super-middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr, whom Groves faces in the semi-final of the World Boxing Super Series tournament next month.
Disaster strikes. Back when he was a middleweight, Eubank challenged Blackwell for his British title at Wembley Arena, and a fiery buildup followed. The fight itself was just as intense, but Eubank started to pull away in the middle stages after a well contested opening few rounds. The shots Blackwell was taking to the head were deeply concerning, and he collapsed shortly after the fight was stopped in the 10th round. He was rushed to hospital, put in a coma, and was told never to box again. Famously, he didn't listen, and his trainer Liam Wilkins had his license revoked after a sparring session with light heavyweight Hasan Karkardi (who was also banned) put Blackwell in a coma for a second time. A sad end to a very sad story.
After a scheduled bout with Tommy Langford fell through, Eubank was matched with WBC International champion Doran at the 02 Arena in London. Unbeaten but untested, Doran quickly felt the difference in class after his bright start had unravelled by the end of the second round. He was dropped in the third and three times in the fourth, by which time referee Marcus McDonnell had seen enough. As it turned out, Doran had also seen enough, calling time on his career for the moment at least; with his momentum and his confidence having stalled, he has taken a hiatus from the ring since the defeat, and has yet to announce a return, if there will indeed be one at all.
The most unlikely of title fights. Eubank's first super-middleweight bout would be against little-known IBO belt holder New Zealander Renold Quinlan, who was making his first defence after stopping the faded Daniel Geale four months earlier. Eubank's work was cleaner, but his punches didn't have the same sting as they did at 160lbs, and the champion soaked up much of the early pressure. Despite that, he was eventually stopped in the tenth, and the title changed hands accordingly. Quinlan took last Summer off, and made a relatively low-key return to the ring last October in Singapore, where he knocked out unheard-of Indonesian Alexander Bajawa in the first round of a scheduled four. Still only 28, Quinlan could build on this win, but realistically, the fight with Eubank will likely remain the biggest of his career. He is rumoured to face Nigeria's King Davidson next.
Easily Eubank's biggest test since Billy Joe Saunders. Gilberto Ramirez had halted the German's long reign at the top with a lopsided points victory in Las Vegas in 2016, and Eubank achieved the same in Wembley a year later, earning him his place in the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). He was made to work for it though; the Brit's punches failed to budge Abraham, who stubbornly saw the contest through despite not offering much offensively. Where he goes from here is anyone's guess - he has said that he will do “everything possible to bring back the title of the world champion,” but has only given himself 12 months to do it: “I think my career will be over in a year. I cannot box for a lifetime.” At 37 years old and having lost 2 of his last 4, time is against him. He will need to move quickly.
This, the quarter final of the WBSS, was a chance for Eubank to make a statement to the other super-middleweights of the tournament, and he did so emphatically. Yildirim, an unbeaten WBC International champion with a good knockout ratio, was himself knocked out with a left hook straight from hell that put him flat on his back, ending the fight in the third round after the count was immediately waived. To his credit, he got up quickly, and has also got his career back on track without much delay; he returned with a one-round knockout of Attila Korda in December, and faces Derek Edwards (who has only lost against good opposition) in March to defend his International title, making him the only fighter on this list to keep pace with Eubank's ascendancy.
Posted: 20th Jan 2018
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