Second-generation Eubank follows
father’s championship footsteps
(IBO Top 100 Editorial)
Next Generation, Chris Eubank and Chris Eubank Jr.
(photo credit to Mark Robinson)
The prodigal boxing son is returning.
With an IBO championship belt.
A quarter-century after his father, Chris Eubank Sr., made his own claim to world supremacy, the now-27-year-old son followed suit with a dominant debut on the division’s biggest stage.
Chris Eubank Jr. captured his first professional world title on Feb. 4 in London, stopping defending International Boxing Organization champ Renold Quinlan at 2:07 of Round 10. Quinlan was making the first defense of his IBO belt he claimed with a second-round stoppage of former two time world champion, Daniel Geale in mid-October.
It was the first official venture into a new weight class territory for Eubank, who’d fought as heavy as 164 pounds in his 24-bout career, but trimmed down to 160 or lower for three regional title bouts that were sanctioned by the British Boxing Board of Control.
“Now I am a world champion,” he said. “I have my ticket to challenge the rest of the super middleweights. I’m coming for everybody. (IBF champ) James DeGale, I want the rest of those teeth. Of course, I want middleweights Gennady Golovkin, Billy Joe Saunders. We have the platform, let’s get these fights going.”
He carried a shade past 167 pounds against Quinlan and looked at ease with the weight.
“I’m comfortable at both weights,” he said. “I was in Dubai for three months. I was shadow-boxing on yachts. I want everybody.”
Quinlan performed admirably in the early going, snapping jabs from the middle of the ring as Eubank probed and occasionally missed the mark with hooks, then connected with counters.
Eubank began landing uppercuts in the third round and continued to use that punch with effectiveness throughout the fight. A left hook from Quinlan in the sixth briefly stung Eubank, but he replied well to finish the round and landed consistently throughout the seventh.
He continued to control the volume and win exchanges into the eighth as Quinlan’s punch output slowed and his counter shots became fewer and farther in between. Eubank added left hooks to the violent repertoire in the ninth and pinned Quinlan to the ropes, then repeated the barrage in the 10th until referee Howard Foster stepped in.
Eubank had closed 2016 as the IBO’s second-ranked contender behind middleweight champion Golovkin, but chose to make the eight-pound jump after attempts to set up a bout with the unbeaten Kazakhstan-born slugger were unsuccessful.
The prospect became more tantalizing thanks to the interest of United Kingdom television giant ITV, whose new pay-per-view arm – ITV Box Office – broadcast the bout live. ITV was a significant player in the career of the elder Eubank, who captured belts at 160 and 168 pounds and had 17 straight successful world title defenses in a top-shelf run that stretched from 1990 to 1998.
Eubank Jr. turned pro at age 22 in 2011 and knocked out 13 of 18 opponents before suffering his lone career loss – by split decision to Saunders – in 2014. He returned with three stoppage victories in 2015 and two more in 2016 and entered the super middleweight ranks at 23-1 with 18 KOs.
Quinlan drove Geale into retirement by erasing the former IBO middleweight king in just 4 minutes, 14 seconds. The fight with Eubank Jr. was his first outside of Australia.