Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Score it!... Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank II

It's time for another edition of The Boxing Bulletin's feature series, Score it!

This time we're going back to October 9, 1993 to score the controversial rematch between Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank.

The first bout had been a major upset with the underdog Eubank winning via 9th round TKO to take Benn's WBO middleweight crown. Almost 3 years later, on a cold night at Manchester's Old Trafford Stadium, with over 42,000 fans in attendance, the two heated rivals finally squared off again in one of the most anticipated rematches ever in British boxing.

The Boxing Bulletin judges for this one are:

Lee Payton, Matt Chudley, Dave Oakes, Michael Nelson and Brian McCarraher.

Benn started and finished the round the stronger fighter but Eubank landed some cleaner shots in the middle of the round. Even round. -MC

Feeling out round. Neither fighter got anything done. Eubank tried to potshot from the outside but it wasn't effective. -BM

Not a whole lot of clean blows landed by either man. Benn lands a few solid shots to the body and is the more active man inside. Benn's round. -ML

Benn starts quickly but Eubank lands the cleaner punches to just edge the round. -DO

Both men testing out their reflexes early. Very tense work. I thought Eubank landed a few of the sharper blows. -LP

Benn's round based on some very solid left hooks out of the bob and weave. He made Chris miss most of the time, and landed the harder punches while being the aggressor. -LP

Aggressor Benn starts to settle into the fight and pick his punches a little better. -MC

Eubank comes out fast while Nigel controls the middle part of the round. Eubank had a good final minute to earn a tough one. -MN

Eubank scored from the outside with some sharpshooting. He used his jab and also scored to the body. Nigel slow to pull the trigger. -BM

Both fighters struggling to find the target, Benn pressing and landing the few decent shots. Fighters exchange low blows with Eubank retaliating to Benn's earlier effort. Benn. -MC

A scrappy round with both fighters being warned about low blows. Benn’s higher work-rate wins him the round. -DO

Eubank lands a hard right hand and a nice uppercut. Benn starts doing a decent job at slipping the right hand and countering to the body. Some of them are straying low. Not a whole lot is separating the two fighters. Even round. -MN

A counter left hook wobbles Benn momentarily, and Eubank continues to shoot some well-timed jabs. Nigel turned it on in the last minute, landing a heavy right to the side of the head, but I gave it to Chris because of his effective early work. -LP

Benn's starting to find the range with his right hand and rocks Eubank a couple of times. He's also continuing to do solid body work. Clear Benn round. -MN

Benn was more aggressive this round and really got his offense going. His body punches looked like they were having some effect, and he landed some crisp right hands and shook Eubank. - BM

Benn begins the round on the attack but doesn't land much. Eubank responds in kind and gets in some nice left hooks. For the remainder of the round, Chris counters well with uppercuts and right hands. Eubank's round. -MN

Round 5 starts off with both men swinging wildly. Eubank has Benn on his heels a little with some crisp combination punching. A right-left combo on the chin might have hurt Benn. I think Eubank controlled the last part of the round and landed a few clean ones along the way. -LP

Some vicious exchanges that got sloppy at times. Benn landed the solid shots and was effective at slipping Eubank`s flurries. Eubank`s punches getting wider and slower. - BM

What a difficult round to score. Ignoring the point deduction for the low blow for a second, I'm not even sure who won that round. Eubank seemed to have won it, and then Benn came on like a storm with a handful of big power shots to end the round. Perhaps the most just thing to do is make the round 10-10. Then take the point, making it 10-9 for Eubank. -LP

Eubank starting to utilize his size and strength advantages, Benn receives point deduction on 3rd warning for low blows. Strong finish to the round by Benn to even it up. -MC

Benn has a point deducted for low blows, although his head was being pushed down when he threw this particular one. A Eubank left hook gets Benn's attention, then Benn gets pushed through the ropes. Benn rallies near the end but it's a 10-8 Eubank round. -MN

Eubank regains his form and gets back control with his quicker hands and sharp combos. Benn loses a point that may be costly. -BM

Eubank tries to build on round five but Benn gets the better of him after landing more shots than Eubank. Benn’s deducted a point for a low blow. Benn’s round but point deduction makes it even. -DO

With Benn starting to conserve energy Eubank seems uncertain in pursuit and out of ideas. -MC

Eubank’s looking more and more uncomfortable trying to be the aggressor. Benn lands more punches and the cleaner punches. -DO

Benn is far more active than Eubank in the 7th. He lands a few solid rights and continues to chip away at Eubank's rib cage. Benn round. -MN

Benn's ripping the body with hard uppercuts and mixing in right hands to the head. Eubank is missing a lot. He's also been constantly holding on the inside. Benn round. -MN

Benn working the entire 3 minutes coming forward throwing leather. Short right hand staggers Eubank. Chris missing more and more each round and looks like the pressure is bothering him. -BM

A big round for Benn. Eubank doesn’t really land anything of note whilst Benn catches him clean with some well timed shots. -DO

Benn's body work and activity inside is what's separating the two men at this point. Little "crafty" moment by Eubank when he tried to touch gloves and catch Benn with a right hand. He missed and ended up getting nailed with a left hook. A Eubank right hand might have stunned Nigel near the end of the round, but Benn's doing the more consistent work. -MN

Another round for Benn, who landed the only hard punches in the round. Eubank can't find the mark because of some slippery head and upper body movement. -LP

A left hook hurts Eubank and a follow-up barrage has him stumbling a little. He comes back with a short uppercut on the inside, but no damage done. Every time he gets something done, he's getting hit right back with something heavier. Benn's round for sure. -LP

A huge Benn left hook hurt Eubank. Eubank got his legs back under him quickly, but was still being outworked. He also received a body shot late that he didn't like too much. - MN

Benn visibly tiring, less sturdy on his feet and much less force behind his punches. Eubank not fully taking advantage, but producing more offense. -MC

Eubank tightened up his punches in the 11th and started to use his jab again. His best round in awhile. -BM

Both fighters tiring but it’s Benn who lands the more telling blows. Eubank tries to up the pace but lands very little. -DO

Eubank is doing most of the work, but missing an awful lot. A short right inside may have been the best punch of the first half and it was Benn's. Very hard round to score. Eubank fought like he wanted it, but was hit with some hard punches that were easier to see. I'm going to be careful not to give him a sympathy round. I'm giving it to Benn on harder punches. -LP

Eubank is wobbled by a storm of shots on the ropes, but survives. Chris will not be denied. He's fighting his ass off and has landed a few sweet ones, perhaps taking the round back. You have to give it to Eubank for working as hard as he did, especially late. -LP

Benn starts the round the better but a desperate looking Eubank finishes strongly to just edge the round. -DO

Benn started strong and almost floored Eubank. Then Chris came back and took the round with sharp combination punching. He had been hurt on the ropes but couldn't put him away. -BM

Benn comes out and lands two hard punches, then takes advantage of Eubank slipping to land another hard shot. Eubank comes back, throwing far more punches than Nigel but Benn's shots are cleaner. Eubank has a good moment late where he threw a flurry with Benn on the ropes. Benn's earlier work was more definitive so I gave him the final round. -MN

Final Scores

The Official Judges Scores

Harry Gibbs: 115-113 Eubank
Chuck Hassett: 114-114 Draw
Carol Castellano: 115-113 Benn

The Boxing Bulletin Judges Scores

Matt Chudley: 116-113 Benn
Dave Oakes: *116-111 Benn
Michael Nelson: 115-113 Benn
Lee Payton: 115-113 Benn
Brian McCarraher: 114-114 Draw

*scored the 6th for Benn making it an even round, 9-9 instead of the 10-10 score indicated on the scorecard graphics

The Boxing Bulletin Official Scorecard

R1: Eubank
R2: Benn
R3: Even
R4: Benn
R5: Benn
R6: Eubank
R7: Benn
R8: Benn
R9: Benn
R10: Benn
R11: Eubank
R12: Eubank

Total: 7-4-1 Benn

Average Score: 115-113 for Nigel Benn

Benn swept rounds 4, 7, 8, 9 & 10 on all 5 Bulletin cards.

Eubank didn't take a single round on all 5 Bulletin cards, although he did win rounds 5, 6 and 12 on 4 of our scorecards.

The Independant (October 12, 1993):

“The cards illustrate the subjective nature of the judging with the three officials agreeing on only four of the 12 rounds, the first (Eubank), the fourth (Benn), the 10th (Benn) and the final round, which many observers felt had gone to Eubank but the judges awarded to Benn. Castellano was alone in deciding that Benn had won the final six rounds. The scoring also shows that on only two occasions did one of the judges score a round even, and the rest were all 10-9.”

Closing Thoughts

"I was hard done by. I was ripped off. Even accounting for the deducted point, I thought I won by three rounds." - Nigel Benn

I had it 115-113 for Benn, but could have easily scored the 11th for Eubank. That would have made it a draw on my card. Michael Nelson also had Benn up by 2 rounds, but was the lone Bulletin judge to score the 12th for Benn.

Dave Oakes and Matt Chudley had Benn in front with a little separation.

Brian McCarraher was in line with the official judges with his even card, but felt that Benn was the better fighter.

How did you score it? Was Nigel robbed of his revenge? Did Eubank close strongly enough to warrant the even verdict?


dread said...

Excellent piece. Top drawer. Aces up

lee said...

6:Even (10-9 Eubank w/ point deduction for Benn)

Eubank cruising the first three, struggling in the next three, and hanging on in 7, 8. Eubank gets his jab working in 9 and 11 but misses far too much in 12.

Benn chipping away inside at body and landing one or two hard shots per round, all the while moving his head and upper body. He fought that way right through, showing more snap in rounds 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10 than he did in the others.

5-5-2, Eubank wins 114-113 with point deduction for Benn

Eubank should have used his jab by round 4 like he was in round 9, then maybe he could have won the fight fairly easily - he looked more and more uncomfortable coming forward as he was in 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12...that wasn't Chris' game

Anonymous said...

Eubank cruised the first 3 rounds but wouldn't get his jab going for some reason, until the 9th and 11th rounds. Benn won R4 big and nicked R6, R7 and R8. R6 by far the best round of the entire fight, good clean shots landed by both - back and forth. R10 was a Benn round with a great left hook landed (best punch of the fight by far) and 12 was pretty shitty and even - Eubank should've boxed the last round.

1-CE, 2-CE, 3-CE, 4-NB, 5-CE, 6-NB, 7-NB, 8-NB, 9-CE, 10-NB, 11-CE, 12-TIE. 1PT off for Benn for fouls and that makes it a Chris Eubank win on my card!

CE-114, NB-113

Still Nigel gave a great account of himself against a much physically bigger and therefore stronger man at this time, and a man who posed a concrete chin and the most awkward of styles, stances, structures and techniques....Benn got through plenty, much more than anyone else who fought a prime defensive Eubank incl M.Watson in their 1st fight..and his own improved defense/head and body movement caused the accurate Eubank to miss more than ever before...