Eubank talks his way into trouble

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Even before the sad-eyed Jose Ignacio Barruetabena fell to the canvas for the final time, the howls of protest started. Chris Eubank stood over the dazed Spaniard as referee Mickey Vann waved the fiasco off after 55 seconds of the first round in front of 5,000 bewildered holidaymakers at the ice rink here on Saturday night.

Now Eubank will try to win his old World Organisation super-middleweight title back when he meets Steve Collins in a grudge fight, which is attracting some awful publicity, in Cork on 9 September.

In the minutes after the Spaniard's demise Eubank expressed his concern for the health of Collins. His comments were clearly inflammatory but not as serious as they sound. "If Steve Collins uses hypnotism it will not be my fault if he loses his life," Eubank said.

In March Collins narrowly outpointed Eubank and claimed before the fight that hypnotism would help him. At the time Eubank threatened to pull out but after the fight Collins denied using hypnotism and then claimed it was just a joke aimed at upsetting Eubank.

"I will not hold back; there will be no more quixotic behaviour, no benevolence and no mercy. I let Collins stand up in the 10th round but that will not happen again," Eubank added.

John Morris, the secretary of the British Board of Control, said yesterday that he "utterly deplored this type of build-up" - a view he was sure would be shared by the Irish Board, who control the fight.

As for Barruetabena, Eubank said: "I hit him with a world-class right." It was his first knock-out since April 1992, but the 23-year-old looked in danger of collapsing from nervous exhaustion during Eubank's nine-minute long ring entrance. When the bell sounded he poked timidly with a jab but fell when the first right connected with his chin. Most of his fights had been in a weight division one stone lighter.

n The Belfast bantamweight Wayne McCullough maintained his unbeaten record by winning the World Council title on a split decision from Japan's Yasuei Yakushiji in front of his home crowd in Nagoya yesterday. McCullough, 25, attacked Yakushiji from the start and won despite a cut on his forehead in the second round. The 27-year-old champion was making the fifth defence of the title he won by a split decision in December 1993.