ON this day in 1990, for a then 23-0 Chris Eubank, it was a case of first minute, first round, first punch. Going in with 28-year-old Brazilian Reginaldo Dos Santos, a hungry, world title-chasing Eubank scored a devastating highlight reel KO in just 20 seconds.
Dos Santos, who had a decent if not great record of 11-3, had been stopped in his previous fight – in the eighth round by Craig Trotter in Australia – but this was the only time he had been halted as a pro; his other two losses coming via decision. Eubank, who had fellow Brit Nigel Benn firmly in his sights, might have been expecting a few rounds of work at The Royal Albert Hall. Instead, before the TV camera could fully zoom into the centre of the ring, Eubank uncorked a clubbing overhand right that landed flush, sending Dos Santos crashing to the canvas. Managing to reach a sitting position, Dos Santos, his eyes still closed and his arms blindly reaching out, had suffered the ultimate ignominy.
Eubank adopted his by now familiar cross armed pose as he stared emotionless into the camera as he stood in a corner. The WBC Inter-Continental strap had been on the line, but the talking point of this short affair was the super fast KO. Poor Dos Santos literally never knew what hit him.
In his very next fight, 24-year-old Eubank would challenge “The Dark Destroyer” for the WBO middleweight crown, with the betting underdog relieving his bitter rival of the title via an exciting ninth round TKO in a brutal fight. Eubank had well and truly arrived; both on the world stage and, in the U.K, as a crossover star. Fully embracing his status as a ‘love to hate’ figure, the controversial and eccentric Eubank would thrill, exasperate, anger and entertain the British public for a number of years to come.
As for the unfortunate Dos Santos, he would box on for a further twelve bouts, losing his next two outings by 1st-round KO and being beaten in eight of his final dozen fights. Dos Santos did go out a winner though, winning his final four. Sadly, the Brazilian died at the young age of just 34 in 1997.