By: Sean Crose
“It’s always been a dream of mine to fight in the U.S.,” says middleweight Chris Eubank Jr. “Even with everything I’ve done in the sport over in the U.K, I’ve always felt there was something missing and I believe it was the urge to introduce myself and my fight style to the American audience of fight fans. Now I have my opportunity.” The 28-2 Englishman is going back down to middleweight to face the 28-2-1 Matvey Korobov at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center in a PBC match that will be aired live on Showtime December 7th. At stake will be the Interim WBA Middleweight Crown.
After an impressive win over James DeGale last winter at super middleweight, fans may have expected Eubank to remain where he was. The fighter has made it clear, however, that he feels more at home at middleweight. “I’ve never been a real super middleweight,” he concedes. “I walk around at 170 pounds out of competition and have to eat breakfast the day of my weigh-ins to make 168. I believe at 160 I am going to be a beast now that I have become accustomed to fighting much bigger fighters over the last three years.”
With that in mind, Eubank still admits that Korobov will be no easy task. “I think Korobov will be awkward,” he says, “until I pin him down and when I do, I will show the audience why I am a fan friendly fighter.” Korobov, too, is under no illusions as to what awaits him in December. “Eubank is a very good fighter, one of the best,” the Florida based boxer (by way of Russia) says. “I believe I am a more disciplined fighter. I think my technique is better, but he does some things very well. Let’s see on December 7. I don’t want to give away the weaknesses I see, but the style difference will make a very entertaining fight for the fans.”
In the end, Korobov feels it will all come down to fundamentals. “I think my skills are better,” he says. “I do not think weight will be an issue. He is professional and I am professional. If anything, perhaps it is a little more difficult for him to make 160 after years at 168. I will fight anyone between 160 and 168 pounds, so I don’t see any problem with weight for me, perhaps more for him. We will find out December 7.”
Korobov has lost twice in controversial fashion, once to Jermall Charlo, who will be headlining the Barclay’s card. Yet he claims he won’t be worried about judging when he slips in between the ropes to fight Eubank next month. “I do not focus on the past,” the 36 year old says. “I focus on the future because I can only control the future. I will be my best and my best will be good enough against Chris Eubank Jr. We’re doing everything possible in camp to make sure I’m ready.”