By: Hans Themistode
Chris Eubank Jr. is ready to hit the ground running. After spending the entirety of his 2020 campaign on the sidelines, the British native is ready to get active and participate in the biggest fights possible. To help in his search for the most prominent fights out there, Eubank Jr. has changed promotional outfits, going from Premier Boxing Champions to Sauerland Promotions.
Now that the business of boxing has taken care of itself, the 31-year-old is eyeing a showdown with IBF middleweight belt holder Gennadiy Golovkin. While he admits that everyone holding a golden trinket at 160-pounds can get it, he’s made it abundantly clear that Golovkin is the name he wants above all others.
“Absolutely,” said Eubank Jr. when questioned if he wants Golovkin in 2021 by IFL TV. “It’s no secret, I’ve wanted that fight for years. It’s a win, win. Everybody wins, the fans win and the fighters win. Hopefully, we can get that fight in 2021 but all the guys with belts in the middleweight division are on the Hitlist. They’re all on the radar.”
For Eubank Jr., stepping into the ring immediately with someone the level of Golovkin wouldn’t be the best idea. Aside from the former title challenger failing to step into the ring at all this past year, in 2019, the British product’s most recent contest lasted a mere two rounds. In early December of that year, Eubank Jr. faced off against Matt Korobov. The early goings of their contest saw Eubank Jr. outboxed in the first round. However, Korobov failed to keep the momentum going as he suffered a shoulder injury and was forced to withdraw.
The win for Eubank Jr. allowed him to wrap the WBA interim middleweight world title around his waist. Still, he doesn’t believe he’s quite ready to face the likes of Golovkin yet. At least, not without getting himself reacclimated.
In terms of who would be best suited to help him wipe some of the dust off, names such as Liam Williams and Kell Brook have been thrown around. Whomever is chosen from the two makes no difference to Eubank Jr. As far as he’s concerned, he’ll bust up anyone of them.
“I need a warm-up fight so if they want to throw one of those guys in there with me within the next month or so to get me warmed up for my title fight, then I wouldn’t say no. I’ve been out of the ring for 13 months and my last fight was two rounds. So if they want to throw me one of those guys to smack them up a little bit I’m happy to do that.”
In addition to a showdown with Golovkin as well as either Brook or Williams, Eubank Jr. is under the impression that he is in the perfect position to face Ryota Murata. Thanks to Canelo Alvarez officially vacating his WBA “Super” world title, then “Regular” titlist Ryota Murata was elevated to the position Alvarez recently forfeited. With Eubank Jr. holding the interim crown, outside of a matchup with Golovkin, he views a contest with Murata as one that makes the most sense.
“Murata has been elevated now to Super champion in the WBA. I’m the WBA interim world champion so that’s a fight that makes sense. That’s a fight that I want this year for sure and would definitely win.”
By: Hans Themistode
The big fights are easy to identify. Even the most casual fans will tune into matchups headlined by Terence Crawford vs Errol Spence Jr. or Tyson Fury vs Anthony Joshua. While those fights are undoubtedly huge, discussing them has become incredibly repetitive.
The sport of boxing doesn’t revolve around those obvious big fights, and more times than not, those marquee matchups either take years to materialize or fail to happen at all. The anticipation would go through the roof if Canelo Alvarez agreed to take on Jermall Charlo or if Manny Pacquiao and Terence Crawford came to a bout agreement. But there are a ton of other possible matches that are floating under the radar. One’s that would make fight fans and even casuals run to their television screens. Let’s take a look a look at some of them now.
Luis Ortiz vs Andy Ruiz Jr
When it comes to the heavyweight division, much of the attention is on unified champion Anthony Joshua as well as WBC/Ring magazine belt holder Tyson Fury. There is little doubt that their showdown would entertain. However, a contest between former champion Andy Ruiz Jr. (33-2, 22 KOs) and multiple time title challenger Luis Ortiz would possibly produce even more fireworks.
Both big men know how to box but more importantly, they know how to bang and enjoy doing it. Outside of his defeats to Deontay Wilder, Ortiz (32-2, 27 KOs) has never come close to losing a fight. The now 41-year-old is fresh off a first-round knockout win against Alexander Flores in early November. Ruiz Jr., on the other hand, is still searching to get back on track following his one-sided loss against Anthony Joshua in late 2019. Both men hit hard, have sturdy chins and need a big fight.
This one has fight of the year candidate written all over it.
Jermall Charlo vs Chris Eubank Jr
WBC middleweight belt holder Jermall Charlo (31-0, 22 KOs) has been described in a variety of ways. Brash, brazen, loquacious and even arrogant. In many respects, so has WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr.
Charlo, 30, has done his best to quiet his doubters with his most recent performance, an easier than expected win against perennial contender Sergiy Derevyanchenko. Eubank Jr. though, is in a similar position. Sure his world title win was a bit fortuitous considering his opponent in Mat Korobov dislocated his shoulder in the second round of their matchup, Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22 KOs) proved in his prior fight that he can not only compete with the elite but beat them convincingly. That much was proven after sending former champion James DeGale into retirement.
In terms of Charlo and Eubank Jr., both men have expressed plenty of interest in facing each other. With nothing set in stone for either man at the moment, both should look to make this showdown happen next.
Erickson Lubin vs Jarrett Hurd
Has there ever been a boring fight involving Jarrett Hurd? Of course not. The former unified Jr middleweight champion was once viewed as the class of the division. Those thoughts however, have mostly dissipated following his surprising defeat to Julian Williams in mid-2019.
Still, with only one loss plastered to his record, the Maryland native is far from done. A possible matchup with Erickson Lubin would prove just that, provided he wins.
Lubin, much like Hurd (24-1, 16 KOs), saw his stock take a considerable hit the moment his head bounced off the canvas courtesy of a Jermell Charlo left hand in 2017. He’s rebuilt himself nicely since then reeling off five straight wins. If he wanted, Lubin could sit back and await his second crack at a world title but the 25-year-old loves a good fight. Ironically enough, Hurd loves himself a good scrap as well. It’s a matchup made in boxing Heaven.
Terence Crawford vs Keith Thurman
No not Manny Pacquiao and no not Errol Spence Jr. Terence Crawford (37-0, 28 KOs) should pick a fight with former unified welterweight champion Keith Thurman. By all accounts, Spence Jr. is the top name in the division and the one Crawford should continue to lure into the ring. With that being said, Thurman (29-1, 22 KOs) was Spence Jr. long before he broke into the championship mix.
The biggest wins on the Dallas native’s resume came at the expense of Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter. While they were impressive victories, Thurman took care of business against both men in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Injuries, of course, have held back the 32-year-old Thurman. And despite his loss to Pacquiao in his last ring appearance, he proved that there’s still plenty left in the tank.
Fans have grown tired of begging and groveling for a matchup between Crawford and Spence Jr. Instead, they should switch their focus and hope that Crawford faces Thurman. The former champion may have lost countless fans due to his inactivity in the ring but he’s still one of the best fighters in the world.
By: Hans Themistode
Two division world champion and current WBC Middleweight titlist Jermall Charlo has made one hell of an impression whenever he steps foot inside of the ring. He blasted out former champion Cornelius Bundrage back in 2015 for the IBF Jr Middleweight strap and quickly followed that up with back to back wins over Julian Williams and Austin Trout.
It took him only three fights to call himself a champion once again when he moved up to the land of the Middleweights in 2017. Winning the interim WBC title against Hugo Centeno Jr before ultimately getting elevated to full champion status in mid 2019. He may hold a record of 30-0 with 22 knockouts, but current WBA interim Middleweight title holder Chris Eubank Jr isn’t believing the hype.
“Nothing impresses me,” Eubank told co-hosts Kenneth Bouhairie and Michael Rosenthal. “He hasn’t fought anybody of note. And, you know, I saw a hell of a lot of weaknesses in his ability when he fought [Matt] Korobov. You know, that’s a fight that I believe I would win comfortably.”
Ironically enough, both men were last seen in the ring on the same night. Charlo pounded Dennis Hogan for seven rounds until the referee mercifully called off the contest. Eubank Jr on the other hand, somewhat lucked up in his matchup against the previously mentioned Mat Korobov.
Eubank Jr came into that contest as a heavy favorite, but Korobov made the first round look easy, boxing circles around his man. Things took a turn for the worst for Korobov when he seemed to dislocate his shoulder in the second round. Eubank Jr reluctantly accepted the victory and the Middleweight title. But don’t expect to see him in a rematch. He now has his eyes set on bigger and better things, including Jermall Charlo and his WBC title.
“Any man who’s got a belt in the middleweight division is fully on my radar,” Eubank said. “And [Charlo] has one of the belts. So, that is definitely a fight that I’m looking to get, you know, this year, hopefully.”
By: Hans Themistode
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and it seems as though WBC Middleweight champion Jermall Charlo has rubbed WBA interim titlist Chris Eubank Jr the wrong way.
The two shared the same card in December of 2019. Like all fight cards, press conferences take place with several participants in attendance. It wasn’t a long introduction, nor was it a meaningful one. But Eubank Jr came away with a quick conclusion. Charlo is an asshole.
“I’ve bumped into him a couple of times,” Eubank Jr. told Sky Sports. “We had a press conference before both of our fights in New York. “He is not a likable guy. Some people say I’m arrogant or cocky but I’m a down to earth, decent guy. This guy’s head is in the clouds. He thinks that he’s more than he is. I would take great pleasure in taking him down a peg or two.”
Ironically enough, Eubank Jr (29-2, 22 KOs) is known for having an aloof personality. The nonstop boasting and bragging about his skills haven’t exactly translated to wins. But with that being said, both Charlo and Eubank Jr walked out of Barclay Center on the same night as winners, but Eubank Jr’s win was far less impressive.
During his co main event matchup against Mat Korobov, he clearly lost the first round and he seemed to be on his way to losing the second as well. Luckily for Eubank Jr though, Korobov dislocated his shoulder during the second round and was unable to continue. Charlo on the other hand, cruised to an easy seventh round stoppage win over Dennis Hogan.
Eubank Jr, has always had an eye for gold. Not only would a win over Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) provide him with more of it, but it would also give him the chance to shut a few mouth’s in the process.
“I don’t like his character. He’s got the belt so it will always be an interest. Anyone with a belt in my weight division I want to fight. At this stage of my career, I can’t afford to take any steps back so title fights and big names are what I want.”
The overwhelming thought surrounding Charlo’s career is that he hasn’t been involved in any big fights. Eubank Jr, got that proverbial monkey off his back when he picked up the biggest win of his career against James DeGale. That, coupled with fights against Arthur Abraham, George Groves and Billy Joe Saunders leaves Eubank Jr confident that a fight with Charlo would be in his favor.
“He hasn’t fought anyone. He hasn’t had any big tests. Until he fights someone like me we will never know how good he is. Anyone can look big and strong and fast against weak opponents. That’s all he’s had in his career. Until he fights someone like me, he will find out that this isn’t the game that he thought it was.”
By: Hans Themistode
When it was first announced that Canelo Alvarez would be taking on Billy Joe Saunders on May 2nd, for Saunders WBO Super Middleweight title, the news was met with ambivalence.
Sure Saunders has always flashed greatness in the ring. But he’s also shown to have the capability to completely stink up the joint.
After back to back impressive wins over Willie Monroe Jr and. David Lemieux, Saunders had never seen his stock look any higher. But in a pattern that has defined his career, Saunders followed up those huge wins with lackluster performances against Shefat Isufi and Marcelo Esteban. Saunders managed to pull out the win in both contests, but he hardly looked impressive.
Regardless of his recent performances however, Saunders has now found himself in the biggest fight of his career.
With Saunders making the poor choice of releasing a video depicting how to physically abuse your wife, his boxing license has been immediately taken away. He isn’t completely out of the running to land a fight with Canelo as a meeting to discuss his future has been set, but there is one fighter who would rather them not face off at all.
“It would be a more exciting fight with me [against Canelo] rather than Saunders or Smith,” said Eubank Jr.”
“The entire world knows that Saunders would run for 12 rounds in a boring fight. Then would be caught and knocked out. That is not a fight I’m interested in seeing. I don’t get the interest. Saunders has a belt which is the only reason he has this opportunity but, who knows, maybe that belt won’t be with him for much longer if he’s banned after what he’s done.”
Eubank Jr has been called a lot of things. Not very skilled, a front runner and even a non contender but never a boring fighter. But a fight between himself and Canelo seems far from likely. Another fighter who also found himself on the short list of opponents for Canelo’s next ring appearance was WBA Super Middleweight champion Callum Smith.
While many believe that the tall, lanky but also hard hitting Smith would cause Canelo a ton of trouble, Eubank Jr see’s that matchup playing out in yet another easy victory for Canelo.
“Smith’s performance against John Ryder? We saw a lot of weaknesses in his game. Canelo is a far superior version of Ryder in terms of his style – come-forward, inside-fighting. Smith couldn’t deal with that against Ryder so what are they thinking? He barely got past Ryder. I think Ryder won that fight.”