Is Chris Eubank Jr the Answer to GGG’s Legacy Problems?
By: Jordan Seward
For the best part of a year Chris Eubank Jr (23-1 -18KO) spurred on by his ever-present father, has claimed he has the beating of the IBO, WBA super, WBC and IBF middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin (35-0-32KO).
Despite the current British Middleweight champion opting to fight at a domestic level recently with wins over Gary O’Sullivan (22-1), Nick Blackwell (19-3-1) and Tom Doran (17-0) in his last three fights, a fight against someone of Gennady Golovkin’s calibre in reality should be far off, but bearing his father’s name and not short of confidence and talent the fight is closer than some people think. Eddie Hearn revealed this week negotiations are progressing well and the deal to see Jr take on Triple G, potentially at the 02 Arena could be concluded this week.
For whatever reason the Kazakhstani knockout specialist has failed to secure a big name fight. The potent pugilist is undoubtedly one of, if not the, best pound-for-pound fighters out there and is well known as the “most dangerous fighter on the planet” perhaps it’s the latter that’s played a part in Golovkin’s struggle to land the super-fight his career so desperately needs.
However, because of this salient point GGG’s reputation has suffered. There were hopes the Kazakh would demonstrate his superiority and class if Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez (47-1-1) didn’t, in loose terms ‘bottle it’. Despite all Golovkin’s achieved in his glittering career it accounts for nothing if the competition isn’t competitive enough to satisfy the paying customers and critical onlookers.
It’s fair to say everyone wants to see how good Golovkin really is and whether Eubank Jr is the man to put that to the test, only time will tell. The former WBO middleweight world champion, Chris Eubank Sr or ‘simply the best’ – in his prime, would certainly have provided stiff competition for GGG and a win over him would have been seen as a huge accomplishment. Even the great Nigel Benn couldn’t manage it and with two attempts at that.
Golovkin was last in action back in April when he faced the then unbeaten Dominic Wade. It was routine stuff and he made light work of his opponent, knocking him out in two rounds. The problem is, the Kazakh is now 34 and is running out of time to secure a legacy that is in need of that super fight. To make matters worse, no superstars operating consistently in the middleweight division spring to mind as a potential opponent, which makes the Eubank fight a firm favourite.
Jr is rated highly, he has an array of shots and the uppercut in particular is steadily becoming his trademark, but the one time he shared a ring with a solid, strong operator in Billy Joe Saunders, Eubank came up short. He didn’t perform on the night and looked nervous but now two years on and with that little bit more knowledge, knowhow, experience and arrogance, he poses a completely different opponent, one that is more dangerous, cold-hearted and the capability of winning at world level.
For British fans this fight would certainly be a huge one, especially if it was to take place in London. Whether or not Chris Eubank Jr is the kind of fighter Golovkin’s fans had in mind, it certainly is an interesting one and the Brit is realistically, the biggest name in the division right now who is openly calling the feared middleweight out.
With the kind of personality and energy that pours out of Eubank the fight would have no trouble in selling. The British fighter places an unholy amount of confidence in himself, if you don’t know, watch one of his ring walks on YouTube. The Canelo – GGG fight was the one everyone wanted but as alternatives go, a young, talented and fearless fighter who bears the name of a former boxing great isn’t a bad option to take.