By Charles Brun: Chris Eubank Jr says he thinks Billy Joe Saunders will be taught a lesson by Canelo Alvarez next Saturday night on May 8th in their fight at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Once Saunders (30-0, 14 KOs) loses his WBO super middleweight title to WBA/WBC champ Canelo, Eubank Jr expects he’ll come looking for a fight with him with a different mindset than he had before.
In other words, Saunders will have been knocked off his high horse by Canelo, and he’ll be needy.
Eubank Jr (30-2, 22 KOs) needs to improve a great deal over the performance he put last Saturday against Marcus Morrison (23-4, 16 KOs) at the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.
Morrison looked like the second coming of Julian Jackson with the huge shots that he was nailing Eubank Jr with. This can really punch, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Morrison’s power is on the level of Gennadiy Golovkin. Morrison is a massive puncher, but what he lacked was hand speed and defense.
It was lucky for Eubank that many of the punches that Morrison threw missed because some of them had knockout intentions. Morrison hurt Eubank Jr in the 10th round with a left hook that took the air out of him like a balloon.
After getting hit with that shot from the 28-year-old Morrison, Eubank Jr went into shutdown mode and did nothing for the remainder of the fight.
The judges gave Eubank Jr the win by the scores 98-92, 98-92, 98-92. One didn’t get the sense from watching Eubank Jr struggle against Morrison that he could handle Gennady Golovkin, Demetrius Andrade, or Jermall Charlo.
Eubank Jr predicts Saunders will be groveling soon
“He needs to be taken out of the game, he needs to be taught a lesson by Canelo, and then he’s going to come groveling for a fight with me, and then I’m going to be taught a lesson,” said Eubank Jr to iFL TV about Billy Joe Saunders.
“Saunders doesn’t have any money. He only has money after he beats Canelo,” said Eubank Jr when told that Billy Joe said he would give Morrison $10,000 if he beats Chris.
“That’s the reason why he’s taking the fight because he needs the payday. He doesn’t have 10,000 pounds in his bank account, sorry,” Eubank Jr said.
Saunders probably won’t want any part of fighting Eubank Jr after losing to Canelo next Saturday because he’s going to want to rebuild after that.
With the big payday that Saunders gets for the fight with Alvarez, he’s probably going to be sitting on his coach, getting fat for the next year rather than fighting.
That big payday is the worst thing that can happen to Saunders in terms of his career because he’s likely to live high on the hog, eat, get fat and not train.
In other words, Saunders follows the Tyson Fury blueprint in getting himself go physically after the fight with Canelo.
The difference here is, Saunders won’t have the big frame to depend on when he eventually takes the weight off and makes a comeback. There’s an excellent chance that Billy Joe’s career will be over with for all intents and purposes after his loss to Canelo.
Yeah, Saunders will eventually come back, but there won’t be a vacant title for him to swoop in on and fight another unknown like Shefat Isufi, the guy he beat to win his WBO 168-lb belt.
Marcus Morrison surprised Eubank Jr.
“I didn’t know what to expect; I didn’t know the guy,” said Eubank Jr when asked about his thoughts on his opponent Marcus Morrison from last Saturday.
“I just know he was big and strong. He was a very, very solid guy. I knew he was a solid guy. I didn’t know he would be that tough.
“And I had him hurt bad in the second round, but then I stepped off because I didn’t want the fight to end quickly.
“I felt like I could have taken him out, but I let him recoup. I wanted to get the rounds in and feel what it was like to have the instructions of Roy Jones for the first time, and I wanted to get some of that ring rust off.
“It’s been two years since I had a real fight. It’s crazy. The kid was good, the stamina was good. I had a lot of energy burst in each round. I hurt him early, and then I backed off.
“That’s probably why it went 10 rounds. There’s always room for improvement. This was my first fight with Roy. We’re going to get there, and there will be massive things this year,” said Eubank Jr.
Morrison gave Eubank Jr all he could handle in their 10 round fight, and there were some moments where the outcome was in doubt. If Morrison had a little more self-confidence going for him, he might have won.
When Morrison on the attack after landing a big shot, he was a completely different fighter. You could see the worry in Eubank Jr’s face when Morrison was hunting him down, and it was pretty obvious this wasn’t the easy fight that he claimed it was afterward.
Eubank Jr repeatedly said that after the fight, he could have taken Morrison out any time he wanted, but it didn’t look that way.
It looked like Eubank Jr was fatigued when he hurt Morrison in rounds two and six, which is why he stopped attacking him.
Also, Eubank was missing with most of his shots in his flurries on Morrison in those rounds. That’s why the referee didn’t stop the fight. Eubank was hitting air and getting tagged back by huge shots from the younger, more powerful Morrison.
Roy Jones Jr wants Kell Brook for Eubank Jr.
“I think the Kell Brook fight would be a good fight for him because over here in this country [the UK], he’s a big name,” said trainer Roy Jones Jr.
“He’s a very muscular guy and smart guy, so we’ll have to do some thinking to deal with Kell Brook. That would be the perfect fight for Chris right now,” said Jones.
“I think I’m back in it now. So a big in the summer is what we’re looking for,” said Eubank Jr when asked what’s next. “I’m a 12 round elite fighter.
“I need a big name. I’m 31-years-old, so I’ve got to strike while the iron is hot. I’m not getting any younger, so big names and titles are what I want.
“And I’m the WBA interim champion, so Ryota Murata has the belt that I’m in line for,” said Eubank Jr. “That fight needs to be made. I’m the #1 contender.
“I would love that fight. Eddie [Hearn] wants me to fight Kell Brook. If you guys want me to get in the ring with him and beat him up for 12 rounds, I’d be happy to do that. It’s a fun fight.
“People keep bringing up this Liam Williams guy. He did 12 solid rounds with [Demetrius] Andrade.
“The list is endless. Charlo, there are so many big names out there. It’s just up to my promoters to put them in front of me,” said Eubank Jr.
Kell Brook would be an excellent option for Eubank Jr to fight next if his promoter Kalle Sauerland can’t line up a title shot against WBA champion Ryota Murata or IBF champ Gennadiy Golovkin.
Brook can still punch, and he’s got a big enough name to bring in a lot of fans to see him and Eubank Jr battle it out. While Brook lost his last fight to WBO welterweight champion Terence Crawford last November, he had no business draining down to 147 for that fight.
Brook looked terrible the week of the fight due to the weight loss. Going up to 160 will benefit Brook and likely help his punch resistance. The Brook that fought Golovkin in 2016 will be a real handful against Eubank Jr.