Chris Eubank Junior has done a whole lot of talking throughout his pro career, as fans know. Promising much, the reigning IBO super-middleweight champ backed up at least a few of his big words last night, shutting out the ultra-experienced Arthur Abraham in a fight that, in truth, nearly everyone expected the younger man to win.
But the Abraham victory, the best name on Eubank’s record aside from Billy Joe Saunders who defeated him, is a step in the right direction – a step towards greatness according to both Eubank the fighter and Eubank Senior, the former fighter. Eubank, aged 27 and now 25-1(19) as a pro, will now go into the upcoming, eagerly anticipated World Boxing Super Series tournament full of confidence (when has he not been?)
First up, Eubank Jr. will face Turkey’s Avni Yildirim, but the IBO belt-holder is seemingly looking past Yildirim to massive all-British fights with George Groves and James DeGale. In fact, in speaking with ITV, with whom he fights on a Box-Office platform, Eubank Jr. said the reason he entered the WBSS tournament was to be able to fight his two British rivals; convinced as he is that he has the beating of both of them.
Eubank wants Groves and his WBA title first, then DeGale. Groves, who will face another Brit in Jamie Cox in his own WBSS quarter-final (this being another fascinating fight; Cox in no way being worthy of being written off) says Eubank may have a tougher time with Yildirim than he is anticipating.
“There is a potential I could meet Eubank, but he is in a hard fight with the Turkish lad,” Groves said. “I think this is a tournament that will really revolutionise boxing to a certain degree – there is eight of the best super-middleweights in the world in there together and we just can’t wait to kick it off.”
Eubank fully believes he is the best in the world at 168 and is excited at the prospect of proving it.
“I got to show my boxing skills and get the experience in (with the Abraham win). I am going into the tournament to take this man’s [Groves] belt,” he told ITV. “He knows what is going to happen when we get into the ring, it will be a spectacular fight, the whole of Britain wants to see it and after I beat him I am coming for DeGale.”
We will of course have to see how the quarter-finals go to see who is matched with who, but there are, as Groves says, some cracking fights in the making. For Eubank, who has until now fought and defeated fighters he was expected to beat, the chance to fully back up his boasts has finally arrived.
The full WBSS line-up is as follows:
George Groves, 26-3(19)
Juergen Braehmer, 48-3(35)
Erik Skoglund, 26-0(12)
Jamie Cox, 23-0(13)
Callum Smith, 22-0(17)
Rob Brant, 22-0(15)
Avni Yildirim, 16-0(10)
Chris Eubank Junior, 25-1(19).