At the Manchester Arena in Manchester, Chris Eubank Jr showed some nice touches but was content to go the full ten rounds in his first fight with Roy Jones Jr in his corner, as he earned a comfortable unanimous decision over Marcus Morrison.
Eubank fought in bursts. Twice – in the second and sixth rounds – he looked capable of stopping Morrison but backed off. For most of the rest of the fight, he seemed happy to coast to victory in a fight made at middleweight.
All three judges, Marcus McDonnell, Steve Gray and Howard Foster, scored the fight 98-92.
“It felt good, I boxed,” Eubank said. “I had him hurt bad in the second round and I probably could have ended the fight there, but I have been out of the ring pretty much two years. I wanted rounds, I wanted to use some of the stuff Roy was telling me, get that feel of the ring back, experience what it was like to take instructions from my new coach, Roy Jones. I decided to box and work my way through the fight.
“But he was a very tough kid. I have knocked guys out with shots that he took. He had a hell of a chin and a hell of a heart.
“I’m a killer. If I see an opening, I usually take it. But I am here to learn. But I have spent a year and a half with Roy in Pensacola trying to get better. You can’t get better by knocking a guy out in the first or second round.”
Eubank, had barely had three minutes of action since beating James DeGale 27 months ago and, after easing his way through the first round, he hurt Morrison in the second with a two-fisted attack, but was content to back off when Morrison didn’t fold.
For the next two rounds, Eubank was just content to box at distance, almost intimidating Morrison without really looking to press home any advantage. There was a burst from Eubank at the start of the fifth, but he was caught by a left hook and backed off again.
Finally, Eubank pressed his foot on the gas in the sixth round, pinging Morrison with two left hooks and a pair of right uppercuts that backed him into the ropes. Morrison tried to fire back, but Eubank avoided the shots and opened up with a blitz of shots, before rocking him with a right hook.
By now, Eubank was putting some spite in his punches and, after Morison had managed to hold, Eubank sunk in four body punches, before stepping back and gliding out the remainder of the round.
There was another brief aggressive moment from Eubank in the seventh, but he was mostly happy to coast and the eighth went past with few highlights, while Morrison more than held his own in the ninth as the pair pot-shotted from distance.
In the last, Eubank tired winding up some big hooks again, but Morrison measured him with a good left hook that seemed to stagger Eubank. It didn’t deter Eubank from going forward, as the round turned into the most competitive of the fight, Eubank finishing the fight on top.
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.