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Chris Eubank Jr. wants to fill the void left by Mayweather

By Marcus Richardson: Chris Eubank Jr. has a goal of replacing Floyd Mayweather Jr. as the biggest star in the U.S in boxing. It’s a lofty goal for the 28-year-old Eubank Jr., but not an impossible one for him to achieve.

Eubank Jr. (26-1, 20 KOs) missed out on a golden opportunity to elevate himself to one of the top positions in U.S boxing when he failed to agree to a deal for a fight last year against IBF/IBO/WBA/WBC middleweight champion Gennady ‘GGG’ Golovkin for a fight on September 10, 2016 at the O2 Arena in London, England.

Eubank Jr’s then promoter Eddie Hearn pulled the plug on the negotiations with Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler and gave the fight to one of his Matchroom Sport fighters Kell Brook. Eubank Jr. and his father Chris Eubank felt that Hearn was too quick in offering the fight to Brook instead of waiting for them to continue to negotiate a deal. It would have been an excellent opportunity for Eubank Jr. to carve his name as one of the top fighters in the sport.

“That’s the ultimate goal for any fighter, to fight in those big casinos, on that strip in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden, New York – all those iconic venues,” said Eubank Jr. to “Chris Eubank Jr. will, in the not too distant future,” said Eubank Jr. in response to a question of whether he can get the same kind of interest in the U.S that Mayweather brought to America.

It’s not too difficult to imagine that Eubank Jr. could take over America and replace Mayweather as the biggest star in that country. Beating WBA super middleweight champion George Groves is a good start in their fight on February 17 in London. The Groves vs. Eubank Jr. fight is a semifinals match in the World Boxing Super Series [WBSS] tournament.

The winner of the fight will face the semifinals winner between Callum Smith and Juerge Braehmer in the finals of the WBSS. Winning the tournament will give Eubank Jr. a big boost in popularity in America. But for Eubank Jr. to become the huge star that Mayweather was, he’ll need to defeat WBC champion David Benavidez and WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez.

The best possible thing Eubank Jr. can do to become a big star in the U.S is to move back down to 160 and chase fights against Golovkin and Saul Canelo Alvarez. Those are 2 guys that Eubank Jr. could greatly increase his popularity by beating them.

”It’s definitely always been a dream of mine to transform that name over to the American soil, where so many great fighters have proven themselves and become legends,” said Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr. needs to move back down to 160 and beat these fighters for him to become a star in America:

• Gennady Golovkin

• Saul Canelo Alvarez

• Daniel Jacobs

• Demetrius Andrade

• David Lemieux

• Jermall Charlo

• Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Billy Joe Saunders isn’t popular enough in the U.S for Eubank Jr. to get much of a boost for beating him. Besides, it might prove difficult for Eubank Jr. to get a rematch with Saunders.

It took Mayweather a lot of years for him to get to the top of American boxing. He had to defeat a lot of big names along the way like Oscar De La Hoya, Genaro Hernandez, Diego Corrales, Jose Luis Castillo, Carlos Hernandez, Jesus Chavez, Phillip Ndou, Sharmba Mitchell, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Emanuel Augustus, Justin Juuko, Angel Manfredy, Ricky Hatton and Juan Manuel Marquez. It took a lot of years for Mayweather to beat all of those fighters to become a huge pay-per-view attraction om the U.S. Right now, the only names that Eubank Jr. has on his resume are these fighters:

• Avni Yildirim

• Arthur Abraham

• Renold Quinlan

Those are not comparable to any of the names Mayweather had. For Eubank Jr. to get to Mayweather is, he’s going to need to abandon the 168-lb. division and move back down to middleweight to go after the big names in in that weight class. With a little luck and a lot of time, Eubank Jr. might become a star like Mayweather one of these days after he cleans out the middleweight division. Staying at 168 will doom Eubank Jr. to obscurity in the U.S. There’s not enough attention paid on the super middleweight division in America for Eubank Jr. to gain anything by staying in that weight class. Eubank Jr. needs to go to the weight class where Canelo and GGG are at. It was a mistake for him to leave that division in the first place. Eubank Jr. had the opportunity to fight Triple G last year, and he should have taken it while it was still there. Golovkin says he would be interested in still fighting Eubank Jr., but that would likely be at 160 rather than at 168.

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