Chris Eubank Jr completed a punishing points victory over Marcus Morrison to stay on track for a big name fight this year.
Eubank Jr ended a long absence from the ring, injuring Morrison on several occasions before sealing the victory with three scores of 98-92 in Manchester.
New coach Roy Jones Jr had overseen preparations in America for Eubank Jr, who chose to test his newly acquired skills instead of seeking stoppage.
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Eubank Jr posted and probed in the first round, trading stiff blows with Morrison.
But the 31-year-old troubled Morrison with his first real attack in the second round, dotting the Mancunian with punches in the corner.
Morrison tried to earn respect with a counter right hand in the third, while Eubank Jr. offered only a brief burst of shots in the fourth.
But offensive hooks were unloaded by Eubank Jr as he showed more spite in the fifth, then punished Morrison with a barrage of thumps in the sixth.
Blood was smeared around Morrison’s nose, who had to withstand another fierce blast in the seventh, while Eubank Jr ignited a left-right combination in the eighth.
Morrison fired back with a crisp left hand in the ninth, triggering a fiery final as the two traded closely before Eubank Jr emerged with a clear victory on the scoreboards.
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