By Miguel Assuncao
Wembley Arena, Wembley, London - Chris Eubank Jr. (22-1, 17KOs) captured the British middleweight title with a tenth round stoppage of Nick Blackwell (19-4-1, 8KOs). The fight was stopped in the tenth after the doctor determined that Blackwell was unable to see from his left eye.
Despited becoming mandatory challenger to Danny Jacobs’ WBA title with his win over Spike O’Sullivan in December, Eubank Jr. seemed intent on adding the illustrious domestic title to his collection from the off by trying to land his trademark uppercut in his varied combination work.
The verbals that have surrounded the build-up to the fight were again evident in the ring, with Blackwell goading Eubank Jr. while landing plenty of left hand counters of his own to the delight of the majority of the vociferous crowd.
Having sparred each other previously, both fighters appeared to be wary of the other man’s strengths but it was Eubank Jr. that was getting the best of the exchanges, notably with a series of left hooks that momentarily stopped the champion in his tracks.
Eubank Jr. stepped on the gas in round four and seemed close to a stoppage only for the Wiltshire man to come off the ropes swinging to buy himself some time despite a heavily bloodied nose.
The often seen Eubank Jr. showboating was on show in round five in the midst of a succession of unanswered - albeit not all clean - blows, before Blackwell responded with a high output round to remind the challenger he was still in a fight.
The Brighton man bloodied Blackwell with a barrage of shots in the seventh and again looked close to the stoppage in the eighth but the referee let the action continue despite having a close look.
Blackwell’s left eye become heavily swollen in the tenth and referee consulted the ringside doctor who recommended the fight to be stopped, leaving the 25-year-old to have several minutes of medical attention after the end of the bout.
It now remains to be seen whether Eubank Jr. will cash in his shot at Jacobs’ or target a lucrative rematch against WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders.
ON THE UNDERCARD
The stoppages keep on coming.
Heavyweight Nick Webb extends his knockout run in the pro ranks with a 79 second demolition of Hungary's Zoltan Csala (9-5-0, 7KOs).
The 28-year-old from Chertsey stepped into range from the first bell, landing a number of thundering body shots before a catching a Csala with a right hand that forced the referee into issuing a standing count.
Csala appeared to be troubled by his vision and was unable to beat the count and the contest was waved off much to the delight on the substantial home support.
Webb is next due out on the undercard of David Haye's upcoming fight on May 21 at the O2 Arena, London.
Frank Buglioni (17-2-1, 13KOs) stops Olegs Fedotov (21-24-0, 15KOs) in the first round in his debut at light heavyweight.
The 'Wise Guy' came up short challenging for Fedor Chudinov's WBA super middleweight title in his last fight but showed a killer instinct at his new weight needing just 100 seconds to stop his Latvian opponent.
Fighting in front of his usual vocal support, the Enfield man staggered Fedotov with a sharp uppercut before landing a concussive left hook to force the referee to bring proceedings to a halt.
Carshalton’s Ricky Boylan (13-3-0, 4KOs) got back to winning ways with a routine win over Poland’s Lukasz Janik (16-19-1, 9KOs) over six rounds.
Boylan - who was edged on points by Cassius Connor in his last fight - varied the double jab to head and body in the early exchanges without being able to capitalise with telling power shots.
The super lightweight contest was often untidy on the inside as Janik relied on wide hooks as his main source of offence, but Boylan's superior speed allowed him to pivot away with relative ease.
The Surrey man did have to withstand a late charge from the Katowice fighter in the final round but his superior workrate saw him home comfortably by 60-55.
Bexleyheath's super featherweight Yusuf Safa (5-0-0, 3KOs) extends his unbeaten record with an impressive third round stoppage of Teodor Stefanov (4-15-0, 1KO).
Safa - who was born in Afghanistan - used blistering hand speed to counter Stefanov's lazy work and hurt the Bulgarian with a left hook and then a pinpoint right in a frenetic second round.
The 22-year-old southpaw pinned Stefanov in the corner and unleashed a barrage of punches that sent the travelling fighter down for the first time in the third before landing a concussive straight shot to emphatically end the contest shortly after.
Peter McDonagh (25-28-1, 3KOs) closes in on a winning record with a hard earned points win over Arvydas Trizno (22-51-2, 5KOs).
The Irishman is undefeated since June 2013 and looked the more confident fighter in the early stages creating good angles off the jab along with neat footwork to get out of range.
However, Trizno - from Lithuania - was content to walk toward with a high guard and was rewarded when he caught McDonagh with a stiff overhand right in the third and staggered his opponent onto the ropes late in the fourth.
McDonagh, now fighting out of London, managed to control the pace and steal the rounds despite not landing any showreel blows, and eventually took the fight 60-55 on the scorecard.
Canada's Kane Heron (3-0-0, 2KOs) beats Kevin McCauley (11-114-8, 0KOs) on points over four rounds to get the undercard action underway at the SSE Arena, Wembley - The 25-year-old welterweight was able to start off on the front foot with Midlands boxer McCauley happy to cover up and throw occasional counters.
Heron's body shots were his standout weapon but the experienced McCauley was able to do enough to keep the younger man from putting hurtful combinations together.
With McCauley visibly struggling with the pace of the contest, he surprisingly came out swinging in the fourth anticipating an onslaught from the Canadian - even drawing blood from Heron's nose - but was comfortably beaten 40-36 on the referee's scorecard.