Chris Eubank Jr. stops Awdijan and eyes Billy Joe Saunders rematch, Liam Williams
The names of Billy Joe Saunders and Liam Williams again resurfaced after Chris Eubank’s fifth round victory over Wanik Awdijan.
Not long after the German-based Armenian was withdrawn between rounds after sustaining a damaged rib, middleweight contender Eubank was asked about his future plans.
“On to the next one, we have a big fight in December,” said Eubank. “Big fight, big name, fan friendly fight. We’re back.”
“I know he’s ready for the big names,” added Eubank’s trainer, Roy Jones, who said he was happy with Eubank’s patience and bodywork against Awdijan.
The first round of Eubank-Awdijan was quiet. Southpaw German Awdijan landed the pick of the shots, a straight left as Eubank was caught coming in on a straight line.
Awdijan, now 28-2, was awkward, he was looking to keep the distance and time Eubank’s attacks with sharp counters.
The Brighton man was getting rounds under his belt but Awdijan was a nightmare to fight and nigh on impossible to look good against. Chris did manage to trap the German on the ropes near the end of the third, firing off a volley of punches, at risk of making Awdijan even more negative.
Eubank was looking to get untracked in the fourth but as he tried to open up he was caught by another straight left which clearly registered because Eubank respectfully nodded. Still, Eubank scored with some heavy looking rights to the body and a clean left hook to earn the round and he kept the pressure on through round five. The writing appeared to be on the wall and when Awdijan returned to his corner he told his team he couldn’t continue and the fight was over. Referee Michael Alexander accepted the corner’s retirement but Eubank looked slighted, as though he’d been denied the stoppage he thought was inevitable.
“I would have liked to have put on more of a show, the guy came over and said I broke his rib with a body shot,” said Eubank, who improves to 31-2 with 23 stoppages and who said he had not realised Awdijan was a southpaw until they got in to the ring.
Eubank lost his first fight to Saunders narrowly on points back in 2014 but the bad blood between them has remained.