- •Reports on boxing for ESPN.co.uk, as well as several national newspapers
•Has been reporting on British boxing for over 15 years
•Appears on BoxNation’s Boxing Matters show
Chris Eubank backed up his claims that he is ready to challenge for a world middleweight title by forcing four knockdowns on his way to a unanimous victory over Liam Williams Saturday.
Eubank has always talked a good game and how he is good enough for the best in the division, and there is no denying he looked impressive as he silenced Williams’ home crowd by earning scores of 116-109, 116-108 and 117-109 at the Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, Wales.
The English boxer floored Williams rounds one, two, four — twice from jabs — but then let Williams off the hook. Williams fought his way back into the fight to make it competitive, before a controversial knockdown in the 11thround.
Eubank, whose father Chris, Sr., was world champion at middleweight and super middleweight in the 1990s, will argue it was a better result than American Demetrius Andrade managed, when he unanimously out-pointed Williams in a defense of his WBO belt in April. Williams recovered from an early knockdown against Andrade to last the distance and did the same against Eubank, winning a lot of the rounds in the second half of the fight.
For Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs), 32, from Brighton, it was a statement that he is ready for his first world title attempt at middleweight, after stepping down a division following a unanimous points loss to fellow Englishman George Groves for the WBA world super middleweight title four years ago.
But for Williams (23-4, 18 KOs), 29, a second defeat this year is a big dent in his hopes to box for world titles again.
“I’m happy with the performance,” Eubank said. “I wanted to teach this man a lesson. He said some menacing things before the fight and I wanted to punish him. I didn’t even want to knock him out in the first round, I wanted to punish him.”
Eubank, who is ranked No. 1 and 3 with the WBA and WBC world title governing bodies respectively, has been with trainer is Roy Jones Jr, the former four-weight world champion from Florida, for two years and it is a move that is clearly improving the English boxer.
Just like the Andrade fight, Williams suffered a horrible start when he was floored in the first round. Williams was looking composed in the opening round, until he was caught flush by a short, stiff jab. The Welshman had a difficult end to the round, and then suffered another knockdown in the second round.
Williams was dropped again after being caught by a right hand followed by a left to the top of the head and his punch resistance seemed shot when he went down again from another jab in the fourth round.
But Williams rallied and produced a rousing sixth round on the front foot, which knocked Eubank out of his rhythm. Williams succeeded in making it a contest again for the second half of the fight and put Eubank under real pressure at times, such as in the eighth round.
When Eubank scored the fourth knockdown, it was harsh on Williams as it looked like a push. Despite Williams’ revival, Eubank’s margin of victory was not in doubt.
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