Three popular British / Northern Irish prizefighters kicked off their debut outing of 2015 with thumping victories as Chris Eubank Jnr bounced back from a recent loss by bullying Dmitry Chudinov, Tyson Fury nailed Christian Hammer and Carl Frampton stopped Chris Avalos in an early contender for performance of the year.
Both Eubank Jnr and Fury boxed in South London at the erstwhile titled Millennium Dome on a show dubbed Risky Business.
In truth, the competition in neither the headlining act nor the main supporting fight posed much threat to the home fighters as Eubank commanded Chudinov’s respect from the off, while Fury’s uncle/trainer Peter Fury even labeled Hammer “a journeyman” in between rounds.
For his 12th round stoppage over Chudinov, Eubank was awarded the WBA’s interim middleweight world title despite coming into the fight having been bettered by Billy Joe Saunders just three months prior.
Unencumbered by the pressure to not only triumph but look good doing so, Eubank showed crowd-pleasing Matrix-like defensive maneuverability in the sixth round as Chudinov struck nothing but air, before rallying late in order to force referee Mikael Hook to wave the fight off with less than a minute left on the clock.
Flaws remain in the middleweight’s game, however. Eubank, now 19-1-0, 14ko, is seemingly learning from the lessons Billy Joe gave him (starting fights too late), but he is still getting caught with unnecessary punches.
For now, he has managed to shake off the straight right mitts but as he continues to ascend the 160-pound ranks, there will be combatants whose power will provide sterner tests – only then will observers find out whether he has inherited his father’s legendary chin.
At heavyweight, Fury is further along in his career and knocking on the door of championship challenging fights.
The brobdingnagian pug first boxed southpaw against Martin Rogan in Belfast three years ago but his righty stance versus Hammer was far more polished.
Now 24-0-0, 18ko, Fury has demonstrated a varied repertoire in the ring. In previous performances he has risen from the canvas to secure the win, he has shown a fighter’s heart, has boxed with brains instead of brawn in the rematch with Dereck Chisora and on Saturday, in London, he was once again disciplined as he boxed from range and tied up when in-close.
Showing power, Fury made Hammer weep tears of blood from the corners of each eye as the visiting fighter’s face swelled and split open.
After dropping Hammer in the fifth with a right to the brain-case, the Romanian retired in the eighth before Fury grabbed a mic, sung karaoke and then declared his ideal career-path for the rest of the year – Wladimir Klitschko and then Deontay Wilder.
In terms of current pedigree, skill-set and performance-level, it is Frampton who is most impressive. The Jackal successfully defended his IBF super bantamweight world title at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast as he swarmed Avalos with an array of shots.
Avalos asked questions of Frampton early in the bout and shook his bonce whenever Frampton connected but was generally unable to make use of the additional six inches he had in wingspan over the home-town favourite.
The key to Frampton’s jab was it’s timing, but his power in the straight right was also formidable as he wobbled the Mexican-American in the third – a shot that would later break Avalos’ jaw, according to ringside rumour.
Howard John Foster ended the contest in the fifth, awarding a TKO to Frampton who will now be under pressure to book a contest with one of the division’s three other big names – Guillermo Rigondeaux, Leo Santa Cruz or British rival Scott Quigg, who entered the ring to confront a sweat-soaked Carl.
Neither man misbehaved in the post-fight interview process as they embraced and promised onlookers a duel in the summer, most likely in a stadium in order to maximise revenue at the gate.
On his current form, he most likely gives all three solid competition but by taking on Quigg first he treads the path of least resistance.