By Alexey Sukachev
O2 Arena, London - Chris Eubank Jr. (19-1, 14KOs) bounced back from his first career defeat to Billy Joe Saunders, by scoring a twelfth round TKO over Dmitry Chudinov (14-1-2, 9KOs) to capture the WBA-interim middleweight championship.
Pre-fight arrangements were marred with a scuff over the choice of the referee and the judges. It has been reported that the British team tried to place local judges to the ringside, which wasn't allowed. But the referee had been changed from Panama's Guillermo Perez Pineda to Swede Mikael Hook. At the end, that didn't matter at all, as Eubank Jr., a son of the legend, took his destiny with his own hands and formed what he wanted - both of his career and the Russian's distorted face.
It wasn't easy early on. Chudinov, 28, started confidently as a titleholder, slowly pressing Eubank. He landed the first meaningful blow - a right hand - which shook the 25-year old Brit, but the latter answered well at the end of the round. This trademark
spurt also ended the second round but Chudinov was a slightly better fighter. Eubank Jr. took the third just barely but had Chudinov cut over his left eye.
After the third, a mirage of an even fight has quickly disappeared as Eubank finally found what he needed to know about Chudinov, and that was SPEED. Speed, which kills, was Junior's greatest asset against a plodder like Chudinov. The British fighter easily got into exchanges throwing dozen more shots each time and landing also at a higher percentage. Chudinov's punches, if landed, were feeble. The fourth was Eubank's but he became utterly dominant in the fifth.
Since that, all rounds have been quite the same. Feeling boldness, sensing his power against a harmless opponent, Eubank utilized his trademark machismo and bravado, turning his back onto opponent, walking out of him, provoking Chudinov, and punishing him when needed. Eubank's dominance got more and more evident with each fought round. Chudinov was eating punches in bunches and was severely cut and bleeding.
Eubank Jr. took the tenth stanza off and didn't press the action in the eleventh either but in the twelfth he exploded with multiple shots fired with bad intentions. Chudinov survived the first onslaught - just barely - answered a bit and then took another barrage of pitty-pat punches, taken without an answer, forcing referee to halt the action at 2:11 of the last round, marking Eubank Jr's arrival onto the world scene, and Eubank Sr's crazy jump into the ring with the Union Jack raised high and waving.
WBO #7 and IBF #13 Liam Walsh (18-0, 12 KOs) continued his quest for the super featherweight glory with effective and spectacular stoppage of a bitter rival Joe Murray in five one-sided rounds.
In September 2013, Walsh, 28, just barely overcame undefeated Murray with a majority decision. He has defended his BBBofC and Commonwealth 130lb titles twice since then (both in 2014), while Murray came back in November 2014 with a tune-up win.
Tonight, there were no doubts of who would be a winner. Walsh was aggressive, consistent and in great physical shape, while Murray, also 28, looked to be a beaten fighter from the opening bell. Walsh hurt Murray with a left uppercut at the end of round one and continued to deal damage in round two, which was all-Walsh's. Murray attempted a comeback in the third to almost no effect.
Meanwhile, the champion increased his precision in the fourth, outrumbling lethargic Murray along the ropes. Murray was punished with body shots and also ate an enormous doze of uppercuts. Round four was once again one-sidedly Walsh's. Finally, in the fifth Walsh hurt Murray once again with another combo and a shot to the body, Murray
(now 15-2, 6 KOs) turned his back on the opponent, and referee Howard John Foster had no other option but to wave the fight off.
Lightweight Boy Jones Jr. made a successful pro debut, outpointing career loser Joe Beedon (1-24, 1 KO) over four rounds but failing to stop him, which should come as no surprise given the fact that Beedon has been stopped just once before. The sole score was 40-36.
An easy fight against an opponent with zero skills and durability was what Bradley Skeete needed after his close loss to Frankie Gavin last November. And Skeete, 27, got what he wished for with a first-round blowout of incapable Georgian Anzor Gamgebeli (now 20-8-3, 8 KOs).
Skeete controlled Gamgebeli with his jab and soon had the Georgian's nose bleeding after one of his stiff jabs. With his nose being possibly broken, Gamgebeli's chances shifted from zero to negative values. He was quickly dropped after a right hand to his body and was finished soon after he had beaten the count with yet another combo.
Skeete is moving up to 19-1, 8 KOs, with a newly acquired WBO European welterweight belt around his waist.