Boxing

Chris Eubank Jr defeats Marcus Morrison by unanimous decision to stay on course for a big-name fight this year

Chris Eubank Jr completed a punishing points victory over Marcus Morrison to stay on course for a big-name fight this year.

Eubank Jr ended a lengthy absence from the ring, hurting Morrison on a number of occasions before sealing victory with three scores of 98-92 in Manchester.

New trainer Roy Jones Jr had overseen preparations in America for Eubank Jr, who opted to test out his newly acquired skills instead of seeking the stoppage.

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Eubank Jr postured and probed in the opening round, exchanging stiff jabs with Morrison.

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But the 31-year-old troubled Morrison with his first genuine attack in the second round, peppering the Mancunian with punches in the corner.

Morrison tried to gain respect with a counter right hand in the third, while Eubank Jr offered only a brief flurry of shots in the fourth.

But hurtful hooks were unloaded by Eubank Jr as he showed more spite in the fifth, then punished Morrison with a barrage of thudding shots in the sixth.

Blood was smeared around the nose of Morrison, who had to withstand another fierce flurry 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, sparking a fiery finale as both men traded at close quarters before Eubank Jr emerged with a clear victory on the scorecards.

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