Chris Eubank Jr had to work pretty hard for it, and he did the job tonight in his comeback from his first pro loss, beating down Dmitry Chudinov and stopping the tough Russian at 2:11 of the 12th and final round.
Eubank (19-1, 14 KO) admitted that Chudinov (14-1-2, 9 KO) was even tougher than he anticipated, giving his opponent credit for taking a big amount of punishment.
"I've never hit somebody so many times and the guy hasn't gone down," Eubank told BoxNation after the fight. "I had to stop and just say, you know what, this guy's a hell of a fighter. The shots he was taking -- I was surprised the referee didn't stop it. Incredible chin."
Eubank and Chudinov were pretty even through the first four rounds, with Eubank landing most of the flashier punches, but Chudinov more than willing to stand and trade with him, giving about as good as he was getting. After four, though, Eubank took over, punishing Chudinov and opening -- then consistently damaging -- a nasty cut on the Russian's eye, which the ringside physician looked at closely a couple of times.
Asked why he chose to fight instead of box, Eubank said that wasn't his intention, and not what he initially set out to do. "I went in there thinking, let me box this guy, show my flashy skills and my speed, but he woudln't stop coming forward. So I saw boxing wasn't going to be enough. He's a solid fighter, a great chin," he said.
Eubank led 107-102 on our card at the time of the stoppage. He then made another challenge for a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders, who beat Eubank in a compelling clash last November.
"This is redemption. I'm back. I want that rematch, Saunders. Wherever you are, I'm coming for you," Eubank said. When told that bookies have said they'd make him a favorite to win a rematch, Eubank added, "I know what he's about. The boxing public know that I'm a league above him. I just didn't -- through inexperience I didn't do what I was supposed to do in that fight. I'm a complete fighter and ready for redemption."
Liam Walsh (18-0, 12 KO) dominated Joe Murray (15-2, 6 KO) en route to a fifth round stoppage win in a successful defense of his British and Commonwealth super featherweight titles, a far more thorough win than in their first bout back in 2013, when Walsh won a majority decision. This one was just plain one-sided, and a very impressive showing for the 28-year-old Walsh, who looks ready to step to the next level.
Welterweight Bradley Skeete (19-1, 8 KO) made a successful return from his own first pro loss to Frankie Gavin in November, beating Georgia's Anzor Gamgebeli (20-8-3, 8 KO) via first round TKO.