By News Team
31st August 2021
Boxer Chris Eubank Jr says that he’s staying in the best shape possible in order to secure a world title by December.
Eubank Jr is currently being put through his paces in Las Vegas by the great Roy Jones Jr, with news of his next fight due to be announced in the coming week.
“I’m feeling good, I’m currently at 164lbs, which is good considering I fight at 160lbs, so I’m just waiting for that call,” he told William Hill. “I’m blessed with physical attributes that help me stay in top shape all year round.”
“The goal is to secure a world title by December,” he said. “I said I wanted to fight three times this year, so I want to fight soon and then get a big fight by the end of the year. Having been WBA interim champion puts me in a great position and there are a lot of big names out there, so it’s just about aligning those names and pinning them down, and we’ll do that.”
The Brit is spoiled for choice, as potential options include WBA ‘super’ champion Ryota Murata, ‘regular’ champion Erislandy Lara, while IBF king Gennady Golovkin is also in the mix to face the man known as ‘Next Gen’. Eubank Jr didn’t mince his words when he stated his preferred option of those fighters.
“I’ve been targeting Golovkin for some time now, and I believe that’s a fight a lot of the fans want to see,” he said. “I believe he’s actually fighting Ryota Murata next, so those two names are off the list for the time being, but that is a fight that will happen in the next six to nine months. We’ll try and make that happen in any way we can.
“Having been WBA interim champion, I’m first in line to fight for those belts, and they’re great fights, so I’ve just got to stay ready.”
Asked if he’s always looked to pinpoint a fight with Golovkin, Eubank Jr was emphatic in his response.
Eubank Jr said: “Absolutely. From when I started the sport, I looked at the best guys and I always imagined eventually getting into the ring with them and I always planned and envisaged beating them. Anyone who wants to be a champion has to have that mindset of beating the best guys. If you don’t have that, then when the going gets tough you’re going to fold and not have that spirit inside you. I’ve always had that spirit and I always will.”
As Eubank Jr mentioned, the fans have expressed a desire to see him go toe-to-toe with Golovkin, and he believes it’s their dynamic fighting styles which would make the bout so exciting and appealing for the boxing world.
“We both like to tango, as they say,” Eubank Jr quipped. “Neither one of us is going to be running around the ring trying to avoid confrontation. We are both confrontational fighters so if you put those styles in the ring, with my speed and his power…it’s going to be epic.”
— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) August 30, 2021
With the influence of legendary boxer Roy Jones Jr in his corner, Eubank Jr believes he has become a better and more methodical fighter since learning from the former world champion.
He said: “Working with Roy Jones Jr was a blessing, and I wish I’d met him earlier in my career. But, better later than never, and in the short time that we’ve been together I’ve learnt a lot. He’s opened my mind to things. They say ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, but I don’t think that’s the case in my situation.
“I’m 32 next month, and with the young guns coming through you’ve got to watch out, and Roy is the man who is going to add years to my career with the things he’s teaching me. He’s helped me have a plan B, plan C, plan D, so it’s been amazing to work with him as he’s a genius and I think I’ll work with him for the rest of my career.”
Like every boxer, Eubank Jr likes to keep an eye on different divisions and when tasked to name his top five fighters across the sport at the moment, he opted for entertainers who he feels bring energy and wider appeal to the industry.
“I like Teofimo Lopez as he’s an exciting boxer and doing his thing right now,” he said. “Tank (Gervonta) Davis is very exciting to watch. My boy Anthony Joshua is flying the flag for Great Britain in world boxing and he’s the best heavyweight in the world, in my opinion.
“I believe AJ’s best is better than Tyson Fury’s best on the night. I think he’s faster, more powerful, and in his fight against (Andy) Ruiz Jr, he showed that he can strategise, switch the game up, and do what he has to in order to win. I was impressed by that as it was a make-or-break fight for him, and he made it big time.
“I’ve also got to include myself in my own top five fighters! My last one is controversial, but I like Jake Paul. In terms of what this guy is doing for the sport at the moment, for the buzz and hype, the new fan base and direction, he’s a guy I’m always going to tune into. There are guys way more talented than him, but when this guy fights, it’s a show, and everyone thinks ‘what’s going to happen next?’ At the end of the day, the guy is getting in the ring and so far, he’s done the business and now he’s going to face Tyrone Woodley, and he’s got a great chance of pulling off a win.
“I’ve always said boxing is an entertainment business, and you’ve got to be a personality to capture the attention of people, and every guy on that list above is doing that. I’m about show business and I like that these fighters do that.”
Eubank Jr recently made a high-profile bet with William Hill on Canelo ‘Saul’ Alvarez to knock out Billy Joe Saunders, which happened, and the result landed him £10,000 which he admirably donated to Rocking Horse Children’s Charity.
He explained his thought process behind that bet and suggested he may look at future charity bets if it can help donate funds to worthy causes.
“When the fight was announced, I didn’t believe it was going to happen,” claimed Eubank Jr. “According to Saunders’ camp, they were going to fly home because the ring wasn’t the right size. But I thought, if it does happen, this guy won’t last 12 rounds with Canelo. This was going off how I’d seen him fight in the last six years, our fight and how much I feel I improved and looking at him and seeing the same guy I fought. I felt he couldn’t beat Canelo, so I put a bet on as I’m so sure of it winning and I can give the winnings to charity. It was a great day.
“I think that was the first fight I’d ever really bet a proper amount on, so if there’s a fight that interests me and I’m sure of the outcome, I think I’ll go back to William Hill and place a bet. I’m confident in outcomes, but the odds have to be right, and I won’t put down £1,000 to win £10. Who knows? Maybe it’ll become a thing I do more often for big fights.”
On the subject of Canelo, Eubank Jr suggested that a return to super middleweight would be on the cards if a headline fight against the Mexican champion was a possibility.
“Canelo is the only opponent that I would back up to super middleweight for,” he said. “I’m not a super middleweight. I fought at super middleweight because of the opportunities that were in front of me, but now at middleweight there’s a lot of big names, great fights and a lot of money to be made, so I don’t need to force myself up to super middleweight and then on the night be fighting guys who are 15lbs heavier than me.
“I would do that only for Canelo because he is one of the faces of boxing, and I think I have the style to trouble this guy. If there was ever a style who could beat his style, it’s mine. You saw Golovkin with his power, others with speed, but nobody’s throwing five, six combination shots and tried that. That’s my bread and butter, so it’s not going to change just because it’s Canelo Alvarez. Canelo has this ability to take spirit away from a lot of fighters, as they go in to just survive, but I’m not going to freeze. Everybody knows that. It’s all or nothing for me, so that fight alongside the Golovkin fight would be great for the world to see.”