Britain’s Chris Eubank Jr made a huge statement in his first fight in the World Boxing Super Series as he stopped Avni Yildirim on Saturday night.
The Brighton fighter was hoping to hit the ground running and defend his IBO world title and he did so in emphatic fashion.
He won the opening two rounds with sharp combinations before increasing the tempo in the third round.
Yildirim had already hit the canvas in the first round but he was soon out for the count when Eubank Jr landed successive hooks in the middle of the ring.
Eubank Jr will now rest before fighting again in January and he will face the winner of George Groves’ clash against fellow Briton Jamie Cox.
Groves will defend his WBA super-middleweight title at Wembley Arena on October 14 and Eubank Jr is hoping Groves comes out on top.
After his win over Yildirim he told reporters: “He was a strong, come-forward fighter – but the experience is not there for him.
“He was 16-0 but he has to work technically on his abilities to compete with a fighter like me.
“I’m here to dominate this tournament. I’m sending a message out there that I’m coming.
George Groves, get through your next fight so we can give the boxing fans what they want to see.
“I think it’s going to be exactly the same as what we saw tonight. I’m not playing any more.”
Groves is the 1.22 favourite to win his fight next week, with the draw 26.00, while Cox can be backed at odds of 4.33.