Eubank Junior out-landed Billy Joe Saunders 131 to 107 over 12 tense; oddly captivating rounds at London’s ExCel Arena.
After expenses & taxation Chris Eubank Junior is thought to have earned £487,641.22 for his efforts against Billy Joe Saunders who is forecast to take home £153,741.22 despite entering the contest with all of the professional pedigree.
I had Eubank winning 116-112. Phil Edwards had it 116-113 for Eubank before he was overruled by the maligned Terry O’Connor (113-115 Saunders) & Marcus McDonnell (114-115).
Overall Saunders was marginally more accurate with 29.16% of his throws landing to 25.74% by Junior who was clearly consistently throwing the bigger shots.
Junior was more active in 11 of the 12 rounds – throwing 509 punches at a mean of 42.4 punches thrown per round to Saunders’ 30.6 per round for a total of just 367 punches thrown over 12 rounds. Eubank managed 34 more punches than Saunders in Round 12; 21 more in rounds 8 & 11 & enjoyed a double digit lead in punches thrown in fully 8 of 12 rounds. Round 2 was unique in being the only round in which Saunders out threw Eubank.
In the far more instructive land count Eubank was out-landed but twice (rounds 2 & 5) in twelve rounds. Rounds 1 & 3 were dead even in terms of lands. Rounds 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 all saw NextGen out-land his opponent. The Brighton man’s dominance was most acute in rounds 6 & 12 where he bested Saunders 13 to 7 & 23 to 17 respectively.
In defeat Chris Eubank Jr catapulted himself some 30 plus places up the nominally useful boxrec.com rankings at middleweight to #32 & can now be viewed as a viably competitive opponent for all but the very elite of the division. He managed something the ilk of John Ryder; Gary O’Sullivan; Nick Blackwell & former WBA mandatory challenger for Gennady Golovkin Jarrod Fletcher all failed to do – win on at least one judges scorecard against the like-able traveler Billy Joe Saunders.