Harlem Eubank tops a great night for Sussex boxing
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Thirty two years after Chris Eubank retained his WBO middleweight title at the Brighton Centre, his nephew Harlem, 28, was back at the same venue looking to extend a promising 18-0 record against Timo Schwarzkopf, a Kosovan-born German fighting out of Stuttgart.
A packed Friday night crowd cheered on the local man, who began his sporting life as a youth footballer with Brighton and Hove Albion, and karate champion.
The fight, which was also broadcast live on Channel Five, was for the WBO Global Super-Lightweight title and latest chapter of the Eubank family’s fighting dynasty.
A partisan crowd cheered on their man as he came into the ring to the sounds of Tina Turner’s We Don’t Need Another Hero, accompanied by his uncle Chris, back to his eccentric, posing best by Harlem’s side.
The bout started well for the Brighton boxer, who looked in immaculate condition, and in the opening rounds he landed some good body shots and was able to outmanoeuvre and keep the German where he wanted him, making full use of his jab and footwork.
In the third round Eubank floored the 32-year-old Schwarkopf with a rapid right but the German beat the count, came out swinging and survived the round.
As the bout progressed it became clear the older man was no pushover and his relentless front-foot approach was cramping Eubank’s movement and natural style, and his tight defence was stopping Eubank from causing too much damage.
Eubank was docked a point for a low punch in the fifth round and began to land some good shots, testing the genetically-famed Eubank family chin.
Schwarkopf’s determined approach continued to pay dividends and as well as nullifying Eubank he’d also subdued the crowd.
Eubank was in trouble in round eight but burst out of the corner and left the durable German reeling from some powerful shots.
The following rounds were relatively close affairs until Eubank cleaned Schwarkopf up with a fierce right hook in round 11.
Schwarkopf gamely got to feet but his legs were gone and the ref rightly stopped the fight.
In addition to Eubank’s 19th professional win, there was success for other Sussex fighters on the bill.
Shoreham heavyweight Tommy Welch, the son of local hero and British and Commonwealth champion Scott Welch, secured a convincing win over Argentine Jonathan Vergara.
The big-hitting Welch, 28, swiftly extended his unbeaten run to 12-0 in just four rounds.
After repeatedly knocking the Argentine to the canvas he finished the job off in the fourth with a hammering straight right and a left hook, before Vergara’s team threw in the towel.
Whitehawk’s Harvey Dykes made a winning start to his professional career with a four round decision over Belgian’s Erik Nazaryan.
The former National Amateur Champion bossed a very one-sided affair over the veteran Georgian-born fighter.
Tiernan Bradley, a Hove-based Dubliner, showed significant amounts of style and power in his routine win over Poland’s Michal Bulik.
The promising super lightweight was always in control of the six-round bout, reflected in the judge’s score of 60-52 in his favour.
Elsewhere on the 11-fight bill the brother of WBC Heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, Roman, won his third pro bout against Liverpool’s Bradley Davies.