By Jeff Sorby: Chris Eubank Jr. wants a title shot against IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin or WBA champion Ryota Murata in his next fight after this Saturday’s match against Liam Williams at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
After five consecutive victories since his 12 round unanimous decision loss to former WBA super middleweight champion George Groves in February 2018, Eubank Jr. (31-2, 23 KOs) believes he’s ready to fight for another world title.
Liam Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs) must be dealt with first by the 32-year-old Eubank Jr. this Saturday night in their 12 round main event fight in Cardiff.
There won’t be any titles on the line, but the ramifications for the winner will be huge. If the 11-year professional Eubank Jr. wants another shot at a world title, he must defeat the heavy-handed Williams.
It’s surprising to some boxing fans that Eubank Jr. still hasn’t captured a world title after being in the game as long as he is.
Eubank Jr’s father, Chris Eubank, a former two-division world champion, accomplished much more in his career by the time he was at the age Chris Jr. is at now.
Eubank Jr the”Bad guy” on Saturday
“Not blowing up in weight outside of the camp, which a lot of guys do, but you can’t do it,” said Chris Eubank Jr. to TalkSport Boxing. “You can only do it for so long.
“Even in this fight, I’m the bad guy, even though Williams has said these really disgusting things, stuff that I would have never said to anybody, but I’m the bad guy,” said Eubank Jr.
“I don’t mind being the bad guy, and going over to Wales and being in a hostile environment in front of a hostile crowd. Some guys when they’re in front of a hostile crowd, they fold or it affects their performance negatively. But for me, it makes me fight harder.
Chris aims to silence the critics
“There’s nothing to break down,” said Eubank Jr. when asked to discuss what he plans on doing against Liam Williams on Saturday night. “I’m going to go in there and have fun, dominate, and when the time is right, I’m going to take him out.
“It’s going to silence some of the critics because there are some people out there who are saying he’s going to beat me up, and I love that. I like when people doubt who I am and what I can do.
“It puts me in a good position to go out and challenge for these world titles,” said Eubank Jr.
The crowd will be against Eubank Jr. on Saturday night in Cardiff, but if he’s serious about not being bothered by hostile fans, he should be fine.
Williams has a lot of punching power, though, and if he can land his shots, he might score a knockout. Eubank Jr. looked gunshy at times in his recent win over domestic level fighter Marcus Morrison last May, and he was forced to win the fight in the trenches.
Golovkin or Murata targeted
“Yes,” Eubank Jr. said when asked if he believes he’ll be fighting for a world title next after beating Williams.
“Absolutely, it has to be. If, for whatever reason, we can’t pin one [of the middleweight world champions] down, then it’ll be a big name. Big names or world titles, that’s all it’s going to be from now on,
“Yeah, that’s a fight that interests me,” said Eubank Jr. when asked if he’d like to face Billy Joe Saunders in a rematch if possible. “There’s too much history, too much bad blood for that fight not to be in my mind. It’s not at the forefront.
“I want a world title; I want Gennadiy, I want Ryota Murata. If we cant pin those fights down, maybe we’ll get the Saunders fight. I don’t like to look past opponents. That’s what a lot of guys do, and I’m not that guy,” said Eubank Jr. in revealing his wishlist for 2o22.
The chances of Eubank Jr. getting a fight against Golovkin or Murata this year or slim. IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) and WBA champion Ryota Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) are expected to fight in April or May.
If Golovkin wins, it’s believed that he’ll face either Canelo Alvarez or Jaime Munguia next. It’s doubtful that the 39-year-old Golovkin will take a risky fight against Eubank Jr. before facing Canelo or Munguia.
The 35-year-old Murata hasn’t fought in over two years, and it’s questionable whether he’s got more than one fight left in him. If Murata loses to Golovkin, he’ll likely retire.
A victory for Murata will put him in the crosshairs of Canelo, and that’ll be a fight that would create huge interest in Japan if not in the United States.
Eubank Jr upbeat about his loss to Groves
Chris Jr. doesn’t sound too bothered by his 12 round unanimous decision loss to former WBA super middleweight champion George Groves in 2019.
Nevertheless, Eubank Jr. has fought only five times since that defeat, which leaves some boxing fans to believe that he was mentally affected by the loss.
True, Eubank Jr. has won his last five fights since the defeat against Groves, but that’s all he has to show for the last four years of his career.
You can argue that Eubank Jr. should have had twice as many fights in the last four years, and his opposition could have been a lot better.
If Eubank Jr. was serious about wanting to win a world title, he should have been far more active. Did the loss to Groves impact Eubank Jr’s career more than he lets on?
“Listen, everybody loses in their career,” said Eubank Jr. when asked how his loss to George Groves affected him. “It’s how you deal with losses, it’s how you learn from them, and it’s how you improve from them.
“Some guys are never the same after a loss. They lose that energy and lose that confidence. The real champions are the guys that learn from their mistakes, and they improve and come back bigger, badder, and stronger.
“He’s part of my management team,” said Eubank Jr. on the role his father, Chris Eubank Jr., plays for him. “He’s an adviser, and he’ll always be with me.
“I’m ready to go. There’s been a lot of talk and a lot of setbacks and date changes. But I’m here, and I can’t wait to get in there,” said Eubank Jr. about his long-awaited fight with Williams.
“I’m always in the gym, so it wasn’t too hard for me to adjust to the date changes. The goal has always been to get to the top of whatever division I’m in. I’m back down at middleweight, my natural weight, and this year we’re going to take those middleweight belts.
“Guys, come up and down. It takes a toll on your body. I always stay around my weight,” said Eubank Jr. “That’s why I’m still able to perform at 32-years-old, even though my father retired around this age.
“I’ve still got so much more left to do. So, it’s all about how you live your life. Would I have done anything differently?
“Would it have been great for me to have met Roy [Jones Jr] a few years before I met him? Yeah, but life doesn’t work that way. Everything happens for a reason.
“I met him at a time where I really did need that set of eyes and ears in my camp. He’s brought new energy into my life,” Eubank Jr. said.