Highly-driven Eubank Jr ready for next step in promising middleweight career
Lee Gormley | April 13, 2016
Eubank Jr rising up the middleweight ranks
After impressively dethroning the gallant Nick Blackwell to claim the British middleweight crown, a highly-driven Chris Eubank Jr is on a trail towards more prestigious accolades as the promising talent hunts down a world title.
The 26-year-old put on a superb display to overcome Blackwell at Wembley last month and thankfully his opponent looks to be on the mend, as he recently woke from an induced coma having collapsed following the pair’s bout in London.
In light of the news which brought a huge sigh of relief around the world of boxing, Eubank Jr (22-1, 17 KOs) above all was overjoyed with Blackwell’s recovery and can now look ahead to pursuing further silverware success in his hugely promising career.
The Brighton-born bruiser stopped Ireland’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan previously to seemingly earn a shot at Daniel Jacobs’ WBA middleweight crown, while a rematch against Billy Joe Saunders, who is odds-on 1/12 with Coral to overcome Max Bursak, is another high-profile bout that would generate a huge following.
British success just the start
Before such match-ups it was the Lonsdale belt which ‘Next Gen’ secured, a strap which he craved from a young age and one that he was extremely proud of winning, having achieved a feat which his illustrious father never did in his career when becoming British champion.
Although, the talented middleweight is already looking ahead. “This is not like: ‘OK now I am British Champion I can ease off the brakes and take it easy because I’ve won this fight,” he said.
“No, if anything I need to work harder now because I am the British champion and I need to uphold this title and that is exactly what I’m going to do.
“Obviously my main goal is to work towards a world-title shot but in the meantime if for whatever reason things don’t happen as quickly as I want them to, which is always a possibility, if that happens then yes I will definitely defend my [British] title. We will know within the next weeks exactly what route we are going to take.”
The number one ranked middleweight in the UK has a world title set firmly in his sights and, after such explosive displays against both O’Sullivan and Blackwell, completing four straight stoppages since his maiden defeat to Saunders, Eubank Jr is showcasing his true talents to the world.
Saunders rematch a desired meeting
Back in November 2014, Eubank Jr faced-off with now WBO middleweight champion Saunders for the British, commonwealth and European titles, ultimately suffering his first professional loss via a split decision in London.
Since then, the Brighton battler has progressed and developed strongly, recovering only months after that setback to stop Russian Dmitry Chudinov in the 12th round of their bout, and the determined contender is relentlessly chasing a Saunders rematch, showed further by his showboating during the Blackwell meeting.
“I am biting at the bit to get back into the ring with that man, especially now he has a world title,” the 26-year-old said, who is eager to avenge his loss to Saunders in a potential rematch.
“Before that I just wanted my revenge, I want to put a loss on his record like he did to me, he has a win over me which I feel he does not deserve, that he did not truly earn and I want to right that wrong.
“Now that he has a world title, it brings a new layer to the situation. That is definitely a fight we are going to have to try and make as soon as possible, not just for my sake but the public as well. People are demanding this fight happens, everyone wants to see it, so I am sure we can get it done within the next six months or so.
“If you watch the [Blackwell] fight, in the middle of combinations I am actually turning round and talking to [Saunders] and Tyson Fury, I am calling him out, that is how much I want to get this guy back in the ring.”
Saunders has constantly dismissed Eubank Jr’s credentials as a world title prospect since overcoming him two years ago, claiming he will never reach that elite level.
Though a rematch would be a genuinely intriguing affair between a champion still looking to prove himself and a challenger clearly improved since his only setback, with the dangerous southpaw and WBO title holder 13/2 to endure a shock maiden loss to Bursak.
Eubank Jr backs father’s influence
Blessed with great athleticism and explosive punching power, Eubank Jr possesses all the attributes needed to go on and clinch a world title in his already promising career, and another key factor which he has outlined is the influence of his former world champion father.
“His input and guidance is priceless,” he declared regarding Chris Eubank Snr. “He is one of the most successful and well-loved fighters in British history, you can’t buy experience like that so to have a man like that in your corner and watching over your training and advising everything you do, it can only be a good thing.
“I have learned so much from him, so the people who like to say he should not be around me so much and he should just give me my space, they don’t really understand boxing, that fighters need as much help as they can get when it comes to guidance.
“What better mentor to have then a former world champion in the same division as yourself? I take full advantage of everything that he has to tell me.”
With such an illustrious fighter as a father and mentor, much expectation has been placed upon Eubank Jr’s shoulders, but he has so far proved he can handle the pressure and, in the coming years, could potentially move out of Snr’s shadow with his own success in the ring.
Early signs point towards Eubank Jr keeping world title fortunes within the family in the near future but, with the middleweight division holding an abundance of dangerous opponents, he has a tough task ahead, though it’s one he is clearly talented enough to achieve.
Watch Chris Eubank Jr stop Irishman Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan after seven rounds to earn a world title shot last year.