On his professional debut Eric Israel upset the odds against William Webber tonight. 27-year-old Israel, originally from Nigeria, might have been wild and unorthodox at times but his power was too much for the 18-year-old prospect at York Hall.
Webber, trained by Peter Sims, was a decorated amateur and looked the part early on in this four round contest at middleweight.
Israel, athletic, rugged and bull strong, looked to be going back home to Coventry on the wrong end of a points defeat but that all changed in the second round when Israel landed a short left hand that almost spun Webber to the canvas.
The young Webber, once impressive in this contest, was in trouble and looked to be walking on ice rather than a ring canvas.
As the third began Israel went in for the finish having a shoot-out with his opponent, absorbing what Webber threw at him before punching down on to Webber’s head with a left hand that wobbled the teenager. Webber’s legs were clearly gone, his body shape all over the place and Israel ended matters with a sickening right hand from low range that shattered Webber’s hope of a second sucessive win in the pro ranks.
After receiving oxygen Webber rose back to his feet and will live to fight another day.
For Israel it was hard to wipe the smile off his face afterwards.
“I must be honest I didn’t perform well,” he admitted. “All the things my team told me to do I was trying to do them but it wasn’t working well. I haven’t boxed since October last year. I’m happy but not happy with my performance.”