Eubank passes Abra­ham test to re­tain IBO ti­tle

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Chris Eubank Ju­nior de­fended his In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO) world su­per-mid­dleweight ti­tle with a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion win over Arthur Abra­ham in Lon­don on Satur­day. Eubank retained the belt he took in Fe­bru­ary with the three judges award­ing him the con­test 118-110, 118110, 120-108 at the end of 12 ab­sorb­ing rounds at the SSE Wem­b­ley Arena.

The Brighton-born boxer, with his fa­ther, the for­mer mid­dleweight cham­pion Chris Eubank in his cor­ner, proved too much of a hand­ful for the decade older Abra­ham. The Ar­me­nian-born Ger­man man­fully ab­sorbed punch af­ter punch from the fleeter-footed home favourite who kept up his re­lent­less pound­ing un­til the fi­nal bell.

Eubank’s re­ward is an in­vi­ta­tion to the in­au­gu­ral $50 mil­lion (£38.4m) World Box­ing Su­per Se­ries Muham­mad Ali Tro­phy. Eubank, who took his record to 25-1, paid trib­ute to Abra­ham. “He’s the most durable op­po­nent I’ve faced. I hit him with ev­ery punch in the book. The state­ment was made.

“I’m happy with the per­for­mance. I got to show my skills, I got to go the 12 rounds and get the ex­pe­ri­ence in.” His dad de­scribed his son as “the most tal­ented fighter on the planet”. Eubank se­nior added: “I be­lieve he’s the best in the world. Over the com­ing nine months, he will be able to clean the slate and come away with the Mo­hamed Ali tro­phy and all the belts.”

On the un­der­card Bri­tain’s Lee Selby de­fended his In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) world feath­er­weight belt with a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion against Ar­gen­tine chal­lenger Jonathan Vic­tor Bar­ros four days af­ter the death of his mother.

The 30-year-old Welsh­man-who has held the ti­tle since 2015 — emerged the win­ner of a grip­ping bout with the three judges scor­ing 119-108, 117-110, 117110 af­ter 12 rounds.

Selby had been hailed as a “brave young man” by his man­ager Jamie Sani­gar for not with­draw­ing af­ter his mum Frankie passed away on Tues­day. And Selby, who felled Bar­ros with a left hook in the last round, said af­ter the fight: “It doesn’t seem real. I told my team to pre­tend noth­ing has hap­pened. I turned my phone off. “If I told peo­ple what I was think­ing I’d be in a straight jacket. “No (never thought about not fight­ing), I’m a fighter. “Noth­ing phases me in the ring. I’ve got the best cut man in the busi­ness.” He now has his sights on for­mer WBA World feath­er­weight cham­pion Carl Framp­ton. The loss of his mother is not the first time tragedy has struck Selby as his older brother Michael drowned nine years ago, lead­ing the boxer to go “on a binge of drugs and drink­ing” be­fore turn­ing his life round. — AFP

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