Chris Eubank Jr Shakes Off The Ring Rust In Win Over Marcus Morrison
Since his “knockout due to injury” win over Matt Korobov in December 2019, Chris Eubank Jr has been relatively quiet. The WBA #1 rated middleweight had a lot of buzz after retiring two-time IBF champ James DeGale in February of the same year. Afterwards, many fans were excited to see him now take on the likes of Gennady Golovkin, Jermall Charlo and even Canelo Alvarez. However, the lack-luster two rounds of the Korobov fight and inactivity since has Eubank Jr’s name back to being rarely mentioned. He returns in a proposed tune-up bout against fellow countryman, Marcus Morrison.
Not only does the son of a legend need to win against Morrison. He needs to demolish him! For years, Eubank Jr has been expected to be a serious threat by many British boxing fans. However, he seems to underperform at the wrong times. Losses to a then up and coming contender Billy Joe Saunders and former champion nearing retirement George Groves stunted his momentum. After each loss, he had to climb himself back into the spotlight and reconvince fans that he is a serious contender.
During his inactivity, he has linked with former undisputed light heavyweight champion Roy Jones Jr. The move he claims is the best decision he has made for his boxing career. Furthermore, he claims he claims he is ready for the top brass at middleweight now more than ever!
A BRAND NEW LOOK?
Right off the bat it was evident Jones has been rubbing off on Eubank Jr. The middleweight mimicked the same stance and body language of his new trainer. He even attempted Jones’ patented lunging lead hooks, though they were not even a quarter of the speed Jones used to have on them.
Mostly noticeable was the jab. Eubank Jr had been criticized thoroughly in the past for not possessing a jab. He started this fight showcasing more of a jab than he had in the past. Particularly in this fight, he used it to judge distance and move in and out of range. He even incorporated a nice jab to the body. This is a concept the old Eubank Jr had no comprehension of. He was known for pure aggression, often smothering his work in the process.
Additionally, he learned to pace himself under the tutelage of Jones. This became evident when in the second round, a flurry pushed Morrison into the corner but Eubank Jr decided to hold off on attempting to finish him. This was done likely to get rounds in and shake off the ring-rust. Nevertheless, the old version of the WBA #1 ranked contender would have teed off with a bevy of wasted punches that had zero accuracy on them, hoping the referee would step in based on the allure of damage being dealt. Now he is more of a calculated puncher, although, his accuracy can still use some work.
STILL MORE TO WORK ON
Then of course there is his defense. Jones was never a defensively minded fighter as he used his athleticism to evade shots more than actually focusing on defensive skill. Eubank Jr does the same and has not gotten any better in this category. Now incorporating the stance of his trainer in his style, he is now extremely susceptible to the jab. Furthermore while his footwork has gotten better, he does not have the reaction time to elude counters. If Morrison had any success in this fight, it was from his jab and his counter-punching ability when his opponent lunged in.
An excellent example of the latter came in the last round. Eubank Jr was lunging in with a combination and Morrison landed a huge counter right hook. The punch momentarily staggered the Jones protégé, but he quickly regained his footing and went back to the original game-plan.
Regardless, this was an easy win and one where Eubank Jr was able to get quality rounds in. Prior to this fight and afterwards, he has consistently called out the likes of Golovkin, Charlo and Canelo. As the WBA #1 ranked contender, he is in line for a matchup with champion Ryota Murata. This is probably the smartest path for him to go while he gets acclimated with his new style!
By: EJ Williams