By Charles Brun: Gennadiy Golovkin isn’t taking much notice to being called out by middleweight ranked contender Chris Eubank Jr this week. Golovkin views it as name-dropping by fighters, and he feels it’s not worth his time to pay attention to it.
The popular IBF 160-lb champion Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) labels it as “cheap,” meaning perhaps it’s a method to gain attention from boxing fans and the media.
You can understand why the 32-year-old Eubank Jr. (31-2, 23 KOs) is calling out Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez this week, as he has a domestic-level fight tonight against Liam Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs) at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales.
While the Eubank Jr. vs. Williams fight resonates with British boxing fans, it hasn’t created much interest from Americans.
That’s a fight that would have been okay for Chris to take years ago, but not at this point in his career. At 32-years-old, it’s troubling that Eubank Jr. is STILL competing against domestic-level opposition instead of actual world-class fighters.
Seven years ago, Eubank Jr. made the baffling move of choosing to continue to face domestic level fodder after his win over Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan in 2015. Instead of rising to meet talented opposition, Eubank Jr. chose to fight these guys:
- Nick Blackwell
- Tom Doran
- Renold Quinlan
- Avni Yildirim
- Artur Abraham
- JJ McDonagh
- James DeGale – At the end of his career
- Marcus Morrison
Last April, Williams, 29, was outclassed by WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade in a one-sided contest from start to finish.
“I have stopped paying attention to people calling me out,” said Golovkin to Sky Sports in reacting to Eubank Jr. showing interest in fighting him.
“It’s the same thing. People claim things; they say that they have certain arrangements. It just looks cheap. It’s not worth my attention at all.”
Goodness knows why Eubank Jr. chose to fight Williams with him coming off a loss like that one, but it shows you where his career is at. Despite some early success in Eubank Jr’s career, he’s failed to become the star that some people thought he would be.
What’s held Eubank Jr. back is some of the baffling decisions he’s made in terms of focusing primarily on domestic-level opposition, fighting infrequently, and spending too much time competing at 168, a division that he lacked the size/power to compete in.
Eubank Jr. had the chance to fight Golovkin in September 2016, but negotiations fell apart when they dragged on too long. The opportunity never again presented itself to Eubank Jr, and at this point, it appears that it never will.
The 39-year-old Golovkin holds the IBF middleweight title, and he’s expected to face WBA champion Ryota Murata in the first half of 2022. If Golovkin wins that fight, he could face Canelo Alvarez or Jaime Munguia.
Eubank Jr would have a chance to fight Golovkin if he were more popular, fighting high-caliber opposition and staying active with his career. Unfortunately, Eubank Jr. fails to check any of those boxes.
Eubank Jr. has a following in the UK, but he’s not a big name in the U.S. More importantly, Eubank Jr hasn’t fought a quality fighter since his loss to George Groves in 2018.
“My engine and his fight style? He doesn’t back down and goes to war regardless,” said Eubank Jr. on his belief that he would give GGG trouble.
“I don’t believe he could out-punch or out-perform me,” Eubank Jr. continued about Golovkin. “I’ve had that mindset for years now. I have the perfect style to stop Golovkin even though it’s never been done before,” said Eubank Jr.
It’s useless even to consider what Eubank Jr. would do against Golovkin because he has no chance of fighting him. Eubank Jr. has chosen his lot by deciding to fight at the British level, so it’s silly for him to be talking about wanting to fight GGG or Canelo.