Chris Eubank Jr makes a triumphant return to boxing as he claims unanimous points victory over Marcus Morrison to kickstart his bid for a middleweight world title this year.
- Chris Eubank Jr. won Saturday night on his return to boxing in Manchester
- He has been out of the ring since December 2019, beating Marcus Morrison
- Eubank Jr hopes to take on a world middleweight title later this year
- With a unanimous victory, he beat his record to 30 wins in 32 fights
After living under the wing of Roy Jones Jr on a Florida ranch for a year, Chris Eubank Jr outdid Marcus Morrison in a 10-rounder in his first fight against the new scheme.
He took a unanimous verdict by a 99-92 margin on all three cards, but the performance on the Chisora-Parker undercard suggested that his stated plans for world domination should be further honed.
There were thrilling flashes of quality, mainly from Eubank’s quick combinations in the second, fifth and final rounds, but regularly he seemed to be caught between those old instincts and the legend’s patience instructions in his corner.
Chris Eubank Jr shook off the ring rust with a routine point win against Marcus Morrison
Eubank Jr has been out of the ring since December 2019 and returned to Manchester
At times, the 31-year-old, who returned after a 16-month absence, tried with some clumsiness to imitate his mentor’s ambushes and attitude, but the maneuvers are clearly work in progress.
Morrison was tough and threw good jabs but caused no damage and was almost stopped in both the second and the 11th. In the second inning, Eubank had cornered him with a bloody nose, but he noticeably backed off to get extra rounds.
After advancing to 30-2, Eubank said, “I felt good. I boxed. I had hurt him badly in the second and could have ended it, but I wanted rounds. I wanted to use what Roy told me and gain experience with instructions from my new coach.
‘I’m a murderer and if I see an opening, I’ll take it, but I’m here to learn. I can’t get better by knocking out a guy in the first or second round. ‘
Eubank Jr. wants a world title this year, breaking his record to 30 wins in 32 fights
Afterwards, Eubank Jr said, “I feel good. I had hurt him badly in the second round and I could have ended the fight there. ‘
Previously, Craig Richards fought a brave fight in an unsuccessful challenge for the WBA Light Heavyweight World Title held by Russian Dmitry Bivol. The Londoner, ranked No. 5 by the WBA, didn’t get a prayer from the upset, but had his moments late in a defeat of 118-110, 115-113 and 115-114 points.
Bivol, who improved to 18-0 after nearly two years of idle time, did the more classy job and was more comfortable than the cards suggested, but lacked the firepower to discourage the peaks of a dedicated challenger. Thanks to Richards, who was more than capable of surviving his first encounter with elite opposition.
There was a big shock when James Tennyson was gunned down by Jovanni Straffon in one round for the little-rated IBO lightweight world title. The Belfast fighter, who climbed to a second shot on a licensed belt following defeat in a 2018 IBF super featherweight challenge, was knocked out midway through the first and survived a generous count, before being stopped in Straffon’s next flurry.
Meanwhile, Campbell Hatton took two wins out of two as a professional with a points win over Levi Dunn. As with his debut in March, Hatton, 20, came up short in a scrappy rush for a knockout, but was a little more restrained in his work. He won the four-rounder 40-36.
Hatton said, ‘It was night and day for my debut. I was more relaxed, used my brain more, so I am much more satisfied. ‘