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Daring Eubank Jr sets out on quest to tame middleweight monster Golovkin

Lee Gormley | July 1, 2016

Eubank Jr out to tame ‘GGG’

Unified middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin crushed American Dominic Wade inside just two rounds in April to extend his devastating stoppage streak to 22 fights, following the demolition of Canadian hard-hitter David Lemieux last year.

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The 34-year-old has swiftly become regarded as the most feared fighter on the planet in recent years, now boasting the highest knockout percentage in middleweight championship history with his rampant run, having not been taken the distance since 2008.

Golovkin (35-0, 32 KOs) also holds arguably the strongest chin in modern boxing, with the undefeated Kazakhstan bulldozer having never been knocked out or even floored in a ruthless career spanning 375 amateur and 35 professional bouts.

An aura of indestructibility currently surrounds the man known as the ‘God of War’, with there previously being a lack of fighters willing to step into the ring with him, but Britain’s Chris Eubank Jr (23-1, 18 KOs) has showed no such signs of reluctance as he prepares to go toe-to-toe with the sport’s most destructive force.

No backing down for Eubank Jr

The Brighton-born middleweight prospect is installed as the 5/1 outsider with Coral to prevail in this surprise showdown, but confidence is never an issue for the son of former two-weight world champion Chris Eubank after calling out ‘GGG’ in light of his last stoppage win over Tom Doran.

“It’s all about making statements,” he declared following his dominant showing. “I feel I’m at world level now and can be challenging for world titles. Gennady Golovkin – I’m coming for you and I’m coming for your belts. Everybody’s scared of you but I’m coming for you.

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“[Billy Joe] Saunders I’m coming after you too. You’re going to get it. Anybody with belts, I’m coming from you. I want the hardest, toughest challenges out there for me.”

The 26-year-old dispatched Welshman Doran in four rounds to make it five successful stoppage victories since his first and only pro defeat at the hands of now WBO middleweight title holder Saunders in November 2014, also retaining his British title in the process.

A step up from contesting at British level to taking on arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet is a huge one, but Eubank Jr isn’t shying away from challenges and sees himself already among the elite.

Golovkin a seismic task for Jr

On paper, this battle at 160 pounds sees Eubank Jr highly over-matched, with an abundance of fight fans and pundits alike writing off his chances, claiming the Hove contender has bitten off more than he can chew this time around.

The self-assured British champion was on the wrong end of a split decision against Saunders two years ago in a battle in London, but he vastly improved since that maiden setback and does pose plenty of potential problems for Golovkin.

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Eubank Jr is in immense condition, seemingly at the prime of his physical prowess, and possessing remarkable athleticism and speed which are promising tools needed in order to cause any damage to a fighter that has yet to be truly troubled in the ring.

One similarity between the two is their fondness of systematically breaking opponents down throughout bouts, rather than putting sole focus into one hurtful blow, aiming purposeful shots over time to expose foes.

Another interesting element of the bout, which ‘GGG’ is a heavy odds-on 1/8 to triumph in, is the fact both fighters possess granite chins, though Eubank Jr has not yet faced anyone who can unleash power shots quite like Golovkin.

‘GGG’ gunning for middleweight legacy

Kazakh destroyer Golovkin has long been tipped to face Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and such a meeting is reportedly set to take place next year, with the Mexican next taking on Liverpool’s Liam Smith (6/1 to win) for the WBO light-middleweight crown in September.

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‘GGG’ will first set his sights on adding Eubank Jr to his ever-growing list of KO victims though, with another successful title defence set to propel him closer to cementing his legacy in the division.

The KO specialist currently holds the WBA Super, WBC, IBF and IBO middleweight straps, having overcome the likes of Gabriel Rosado, Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, Martin Murray and Lemieux to keep hold of them in devastating fashion.

American legend Bernard Hopkins reigned as a world titlist from 1994 to 2005, unifying and defending his crowns a record 20 times for just over a decade, but Golovkin is just four defences short of equalling that impressive tally in almost half the time.

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His latest outing is set to come against one of Britain’s finest prospects in Eubank Jr, but ‘GGG’ will see the bout as a great opportunity to boost his credentials further and increase his fanbase in the UK ahead of a verbally agreed mega-fight with Canelo next year.

For Eubank Jr, though, the unlikely match-up presents a shot at clinching early boxing superstardom, as the young contender from Brighton sets out on a quest to dethrone and tame the monster of the middleweight division.

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