Chris Eubank Jr puts in a dominant, strategic and mature performance to beat former three time, two weight world champion Arthur Abraham.
From the outset Eubank was faced with new territory, being outsized for the first time by the German powerhouse. Though the slender of the two the Englishman showed no sign of timidity throughout.
In many ways King Arthur was the perfect opponent for Eubank. Static, with a low punch output the challenger was fodder to the barrage of combination punching the IBO champion is known for. The tactics of covering up with a high guard and stealing rounds with hard counters was immobilized by the champion. He did not allow the old warhorse to rest during rounds in his high guard shell, as he pressed forward with vicious intentions. The high guard played in to Jr’s hands as he unleashed uppercuts through the middle, snapping back the head of Abraham. The 27 year old was at times landing three and four consecutive uppercuts with the same hand.
The solid figure of Abraham was forever dangerous missing with inches at times with frightening swings. However more often than not he was off target as his younger opponent mixed up ferocious attacks with impressive showmanship, head movement.
Largely it was a dominant defence of the lightly regarded IBO World Super-middleweight title for Chris Eubank Jr, which sets him up for the chance at more reputable titles.
The revolutionary world boxing super series now awaits, pitting the best of the super-middleweight division against each other, minus James Degale of course. There are now four British fighters in the tournament, Chris Eubank, George Groves, Callum Smith and Jamie Cox.
So how will Eubank fair in the tournament?
At times Eubank can leave himself open to the counter when he fights, wide wild hooks coming forward and dipping the head low. A fighter such as George Groves who favours the uppercut may well exploit this. He also struggles against mobile fighters such as Billy Joe Saunders. Although Groves is not impressively fast on his feet he makes good use of foot movement, and has a hi ring IQ and boxing ability. However he is known for having stamina problems in the later rounds and may struggle with the pace of the Brighton man.
Callum Smith would dwarf him in the ring, although the Joe Gallagher esq technique does not make use of that tall frame. The high guard come forward style would play into Eubanks hands as he favours inside fighting, and has shorter levels for short hooks and uppercuts. However Smith carries heavy knockout power and incredible punch selection to the head and body, so his opponent may not have it his way on the inside. Both men have similar knockout percentage wins – 73% vs 77% so it is sure to be explosive should they meet.
Eubank is well within the mix of winning this tournament after his display against Abraham. He is among the three favourites in my book, all Brits:
Groves, Smith and Eubank.