Chris Eubank Jr. moved up in the eyes of the boxing world on Saturday night as the Brighton man knocked out the dangerous and previously undefeated Avni Yildirim in just three rounds at the Porsche Arena.
The 28 year-old made a successful second defence of his IBO title to move on to an all-British unification with fellow champion George Groves or Jamie Cox early next year.
Everything went to plan for Eubank, who left nothing to chance and made sure the judges were never going to be used at the end of the contest.
A fast start made all the difference as Eubank dropped Yildirim in the opening round with his trademark uppercut and continued to tee-off as the Turk constantly walked forward onto the Brit’s solid punches.
It was the third round that took the effort away from Yildirim though as Eubank landed 68% of his power punches, according to CompuBox, to prove his devastating power is fully functional at the higher limit.
The former middleweight, who lost a world title challenge to Billy Joe Saunders earlier in his career, has grown into 168 pounds over the last few months and looks to be one of the hardest hitters at the weight class on last night’s viewing.
Blasting Yildirim with 28 of 41 thundering shots through that final session, many of which were unanswered until the knockout blow, left his opponent without defense and forced a timely stoppage from the worried official.
Eubank, if he wasn’t beforehand, is now being tipped to take home the Ali Trophy at the finale next May, but could have been backed pre-tournament at 33/1 to knock out all three opponents in the competition.
Groves or Cox, a fight in which many give the edge to the more experienced champion, could be another chance for Eubank to display his hurtful blows before a potential meeting with Callum Smith, a young, hungry fighter who has never previously faced such unrelenting ferocity.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay