Chris Eubank Jr versus Liam Smith was a choose ’em combat – and people of you who picked Smith had been proper.
The Manchester crowd had been proper behind ‘Beefy’, his ringwalk persevering with by means of chants as Eubank shadow boxed by means of the heart of the constructing.
Rounds 1-3 had been shut and tentative. Eubank targeted on his jab, and it did begin to work within the third. Smith, after all of the speak of being the smaller man and so forth and so forth, didn’t need to take a backwards step. He was joyful to be fed the jab to try to land his personal.
The fourth spherical was fairly unbelievable. A flurry of pictures – the standout being a completely pitch excellent uppercut – dropped Eubank Jr for the primary time in his skilled profession. Not solely was he dropped, however he was splayed within the nook. When he stood, he danced from one facet of the ring to the opposite, however not like we’re used to. The legs weren’t there, and Smith knocked him down shortly once more.
Referee Victor Loughlin waved it off, utterly accurately. So shocked was Eubank that he thought the combat was nonetheless on. The pair shared a handshake as Junior regained his composure and the defeat settled in. To huge credit score, he congratulated Smith in entrance of the gang, and the pair put the build-up behind them. As of writing, it’s unclear if he’ll name for the rematch that’s his proper.
The chin – and confidence – of Eubank Jr has formally been cracked, and the person to do it advised us he might all alongside.
RESPECT! Liam Smith 🤝 Chris Eubank Jr pic.twitter.com/xcUjixk4Qy
— Sky Sports activities Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) January 21, 2023
Elsewhere on the cardboard, Ekow Essuman (18-0, 7 KOs) put his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles on the road in opposition to Chris Kongo (14-1, 7 KOs). The champion spent the primary 4 rounds making an attempt and failing to disrupt the rhythm the challenger set together with his stiff jab, however on the midway stage he began to work his method inside with extra success.
It regarded just like the tide was altering in direction of the top of the seventh when the pair stood to commerce earlier than sharing a number of phrases after the bell. Essuman landed an enormous proper hand within the ninth – a transparent spherical for him when he wanted it most. The end was worthy of a British title scrap, with Kongo wobbled. Each males felt they’d performed sufficient as they waited for the playing cards. Essuman retained his belts, his sturdy end clearly impressing the judges.
Regardless of his loss to Joe Joyce, Joseph Parker continues to be a former world champion and was all the time going to be an especially powerful first heavyweight check for native lad, Jack Massey. It was just about a clear sweep on the playing cards for the New Zealander, however that’s to not say it wasn’t shut at instances.
Massey – a cruiserweight till this bout – actually didn’t draw back from the motion and confirmed a very good chin and the flexibility to fireside again into the later rounds. Parker’s coaching companion and present champion of the world, Tyson Fury, cheered him on from ringside. Battle of the night time it wasn’t.
Frazer Clarke moved to 5-0 as an expert with a stoppage victory over Kevin Espindola. Clarke offered a newly trim determine and pummelled Espindola into submission – the away fighter refusing to return from his stool after spherical 4 following an harm to his and or forearm within the first, possible paired with a normal lack of want. It wasn’t all the time fairly, and Clarke is but to have a press release efficiency to actually kickstart his marketing campaign.
Heavyweight prospect, Matty Harris, moved to 4-0 with a primary spherical knockout over Jiri Surmaj – a comparatively early stoppage however the combat was solely going a technique.