Alan Dawson – London
Chris Eubank Jr threw every punch in the book, showed superb speed of fist, evasive maneuvering, general ring skills that belied his inexperience and, above all, a good finisher’s instinct as he stopped erstwhile undefeated Paul Allison on his feet at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Saturday, April 14. Eubank Jr was tagged in the third round but came out for the fourth determined and an accumulation of unanswered punches prompted the referee to end the contest that had been scheduled to last six rounds.
Official verdict: Eubank Jr wins fourth round technical knockout.
Silky operator Eubank Jr boxed around the periphery of the ring in round one and, in the first minute alone, battered Allison with swift combinations that included hadouken uppercuts, left hooks, left jabs and intuitive head movement. Allison absorbed numerous punches and his reddening face showed the ease in which Eubank Jr was able to find his target. For all of the accolades Eubank Jr’s offensive weaponry attracts, his defensive acumen is also deserving of commendation as his upper body movement allows him to evade incoming shots.
In round two, there was no let up in the lethal threat posed by Eubank Jr. Disheartening Allison from coming forward, Eubank Jr struck the Stranraer-based Scot with body shots, straight rights, uppercuts thrown with great leverage and crisp left hooks to the ribs. Allison attempted to throw back… his heavy left was thrown but when it wasn’t blocked by a well-placed Eubank Jr mitt, it was avoided by head movement.
Eubank Jr’s domination was halted in round three as he was forced into a gut check. Allison landed a power bomb of a left hook that rocked Eubank Jr back, onto the ropes, yet the Englishman quickly regained his senses. It was a punch that had been rehearsed… when Eubank Jr launched his uppercut, he left himself vulnerable to the hook and this was something Allison exploited.
In the fourth round, Eubank Jr – apparently angered by the tagging he received in the third – attacked Allison, changed into a higher gear, backed his man onto the ropes and connected with heavy blow after heavy blow. The hand speed was the catalyst for the stoppage, yet the power was enough to rock Allison’s head back and after a number of unanswered shots, the referee stepped in to wave the bout off.
With victory, the extroverted Eubank Jr casually walked up to the camera… he was momentarily emotionless, not even out of breath, he then mimicked an executioner’s pose. A strong finisher, the 22-year-old prospect who rose to 3-0-0, 2ko with his win, told Channel 5 in his dressing room after the fight that he “went in there with the intention to prove a point.”
He continued: “Tonight, I wanted to produce something special and that is exactly what I did. In my last fight [versus Jason Ball] I could not use my left hand but I used both tools tonight.”
His proud father, Chris Eubank Sr – himself a former world champion of a brace of weight divisions – added: “It was a very impressive [performance] and he has that punching ability. We will have more performances like that. It seems, as I thought, the better they are the more he can produce, flourish and showcase his abilities. I am very, very happy. The viewers, you should find him on Twitter, find him on Facebook because he is one to watch!”