The War Report: Glamour Profession (Week 40, 2017)
“If you don’t take a lesson after this, you will never reach this level of boxing. Look at him. He did it and got his share of the money.”
Ahmet Oner talked a big game leading up to Saturday’s “World Boxing Super Series” super middleweight quarterfinal but, in wake his client Avni Yildirim’s defeat, the brash Turkish manager was humbled by the talents of Chris Eubank Jr.
“Enjoy your party. You did a great fight,” said Oner to the Eubanks just before giving his fighter the aforementioned words of encouragement. The two parties had to be separated all fight week after Wednesday’s press conference, in which Oner made his problems with the Eubanks known and basically proclaimed that Junior was just the spoiled kid of a self-righteous father. Not exactly an unfair description of the father-son duo but they stayed quiet as Oner became irate on the mic, then got up to enegage in a stare down with an anonymous Eubank team member off-stage (after threatening to bed his wife!). Oner’s macho man tactics even bled into the fan section, where, even on fight night, there was a skirmish to be broken up. Of course, all that dissipates, once the two men get in the ring, and, in three short rounds, Eubank dissolved Yildirim rather easily in a match-up left best explained in Oner’s parting words to the Eubanks.
“Really, you’re better than I thought and (Yildirim) was unexperienced. You’re a good guy and I wish you good luck. And don’t take it personal, what I said.”
Eubank, 26-1 (20), quickly made it known he was levels above Yildirim. The hand speed and combination punching were far too superior for Yildirim to even recognize and a short right uppercut from Eubank in the first round scored a knockdown after Yildirim’s knee touched the canvas. Yildirim, 16-1 (10 KOs), couldn’t hide his look of confusion, in the instance, and shrugged his arms as a count was shouted in his face two minutes in. His guard got a little tighter and the 26-year-old continued to go forward through the second round but, unable to land his power right hand, Eubank got the better of their few exchanges. In the third, Eubank had slowed Yildirim down dramatically with combos that featured ripping body shots and all Yildirim could do was stand there and take it, until a final left hook off the right hand dropped him hard. Yildirim was momentarily stunned on the way down but quickly tried to get up, once hitting the canvas hard. Referee Leszek Jankowiak immediately waved off the fight, however, and tried to embrace Yildirim as he crawled forward, staggered and googly-eyed. Eubank, 28, drank in the knockout by just standing there motionless - in a stoic posture that has become somewhat of a Eubank trademark.
Eubank Sr., who puts a new spin on talking softly while carrying a big stick, quickly followed-up with his son just after Oner left, looking to instill more confidence, fresh off a near-flawless performance.
“(Oner) just said you’re a good fighter,” he told Junior. “You’re not a good fighter – you are a great fighter. And what he just said was right on point: The future is now. I love that statement.”
— WBSuperSeries (@WBSuperSeries) October 9, 2017
Also his son’s manager, Senior can always be found attached at his hip and, in the drawing of the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight tournament, it was almost too fitting that he’d be there in his son’s place to choose his first opponent. Senior put on his monocle, before focusing it on the unproven Turkish contender, and motioned for Yildirim to come forward on the elaborate stage. When asked why he chose Yildrim, Eubank pointed out that his come-forward style would produce a great fight but added that he’d need more than that to beat his son. “(Junior) is an upgraded version of me,” Eubank, a two-division world champion in the early-1990s, said in closing.
Last February, Eubank Jr. was the focal point of The War Report and it reviewed the decision to solidify him has a pay-per-view fighter in the U.K. after what was ultimately a showcase bout vs. Renold Quinlan. Senior dubbed the show, “Reborn,” and, from the highest pedestal, the Eubanks took any and all criticism in stride, knowing that the question of it being a PPV was the publicity they were looking for. His premium continued in July, when he beat the aged Arthur Abraham by unanimous decision, and was one of the final entries into the WBSS 168-pound tournament. (In fact, the reason Junior couldn’t be at the WBSS selection ceremony was because, at the time, he still had yet to face Abraham.) Under the shield of this tournament’s format and in a fashion only he can conjure, Senior was merely about to choose another showcase for his son’s fourth PPV event in a row in the U.K., showing that his son isn’t the only one in a glamour profession and that Oner’s advice to Yildirim post-fight could be directed right back at him.
*In the World Boxing Super Series super middleweight semifinal, Eubank will face the winner of this Saturday night’s George Groves vs. Jamie Cox (WBA) quarterfinal bout.
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