Tyson Fury (23-0, 17koes) gave probably the most controlled performance of his career tonight at the Excel Arena in Docklands, London, to stop Dereck Chisora (20-5, 13koes) in 10 one-sided rounds. The victory gave Fury the vacant British Heavyweight championship, plus Chisora’s European Heavyweight title and placed him in line for a world title shot at Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury was in command throughout the fight, utilizing his height and reach advantages to the full, as he jabbed and moved, nullifying all of Chisora’s attempted attacks, and beating him up in the process. In the end, it made for painful viewing as by the 7th round, Chisora’s right eye was shut and his left was closing, and he was bleeding heavily from the mouth. Tyson himself seemed to be taking pity on his opponent and in the 10th round was looking at the referee to stop the fight after he shook Chisora with an unanswered combination.
The end came after the 10th with Chisora’s trainer Don Charles having seen enough and signalling that he was stopping the contest.
With this controlled performance, Fury signaled that he is worthy of a world title shot and that he may well have the tools to provide an interesting challenge to Klitschko.
Fight of the night was the grudge fight between Billy Joe Saunders (21-0, 11koes) and Chris Eubank Jr. (18-1, 13koes) for Saunders’ British, Commonwealth, and European middleweight titles. This was the moment of truth for Eubank Jr. and he found out that no matter what your talent, there is no substitute for experience. The match started with Saunders outboxing Eubank Jr. clearly for the first 5 rounds, as the challenger, for all his bravado, seemed tight and phased by the occasion. From the 6th round on, Eubank Jr. started landing more punches, which were clearly heavier than Saunders. By the 10th round, the fight was close, and had become an exciting scrap between Saunders’ boxing skills and higher work rate, and Eubank Jr’s stronger, more damaging punches.
The 12th and last round was pretty much toe-to -toe, with Eubank Jr. having been told by his trainer Robbie Davies that he needed a stoppage to win. Eubank Jr. certainly won the last round as he looked desperately for a finishing punch, but Saunders showed a great chin and heart to stand up under some terrific shots from Eubank Jr. and still come back with punches of his own, with both men trading right up to the final bell.
The split decision verdict in favour of Saunders looked to be a fair result in the end. Although Eubank Jr. came on strongly in the last half of the fight, he just gave away far too many of the early rounds, and later on, even when he was having his best rounds of the match, Saunders was always still there fighting back. Saunders will now go on to fight the winner of the upcoming Andy Lee vs. Matt Korobov match, for the WBO world middleweight title, while Eubank Jr. will need to go away and look at what he did wrong in this fight. This fight proved that Chris Eubank Jr. is undoubtedly a very talented fighter, but it also proved that he is still far from the finished article and could have done with some more competitive fights before taking on a boxer as experienced as Billy Joe Saunders. Time will tell whether this defeat is the making of Eubank Jr. or the breaking of him.
Other title fights on the bill were as follows:
Frankie Gavin (21-1, 13koes) retained his British Welterweight title and won the vacant Commonwealth championship, after out-pointing Bradley Skeete (18-1, 7koes) over 12 rounds.
In what was a battle of the jabs, Gavin took over from the middle rounds with his higher and more aggressive work rate, but he found Skeete an awkward and elusive target and did not look at his best.
In a lively Super-middleweight scrap, crowd-pleaser Frank Buglioni (14-1, 11koes) beat Andrew Robinson (13-1, 4koes) on points over 10 rounds, to retain his WBO European super-middleweight title. This was an entertaining contest throughout, with the game Robinson gaining a lot of credit despite losing. Buglioni looked to be on verge of stopping Robinson in the 7th, after scoring a heavy knockdown, but Robinson not only beat the count and survived the round, but came back to win the last two rounds, as Buglioni seemed to finish the more tired of the two.
At Super-featherweight, switch-hitter Liam Walsh (16-0, 11koes) out-pointed Gary Sykes (27-3, 6koes) in 12 rounds, and added the British title to his Commonwealth championship. Walsh made a storming start by flooring Sykes in the first round, and only Sykes heart and experience helped him survive the round. Sykes managed to work his way into the fight over the next few rounds, but Walsh always held the edge with his sharper more damaging punches, although Sykes was always there trying to turn things around
In the end, Walsh was a clear and worthy winner and showed that he has the talent to move on to greater things.
Super-featherweight Mitchell Smith (9-0, 4koes) out-pointed Zoltan Kovacks (11-4, 3koes) over 10 rounds, to win the vacant WBO European Super-featherweight title. The highly touted Smith dominated the match, but found Kovacks’ stubborn and awkward throughout.
All in all it was a good night of boxing action, with a good glimpse of potential future world class success for Fury, and Saunders, plus a good future for Welsh and Eubank Jr.