It’s not the most obvious “Dream Fight” that springs to mind when daydreaming on who would win out of today’s best middleweight, unified king Gennady Golovkin and great 160-pound fighters of yesteryear, but a GGG-Chris Eubank fight and how you think it would have gone is a pretty interesting notion all the same. Fans have thought about how Golovkin and his particular blend of skills would have done against the likes of a Marvin Hagler, a Carlos Monzon, a Bernard Hopkins (a fight that wasn’t too far from reality a while back!) and, dare we say it, a Sugar Ray Robinson (for the record, and for what it’s worth, I think GGG beats one of these guys, but only one) – but yesterday, Eubank, a former champ at 160 and 168, spoke about how he would have beaten Golovkin.
Eubank, who walked away with a fine 45-5-2(23) ledger in 1998, fought plenty of good fighters in his day; taking on big punchers (Nigel Benn) superb all-round boxers (Michael Watson), tough warriors (Steve Collins) and pressure fighters (Joe Calzaghe). Also, at the end of his career, Eubank gave away plenty of weight in twice tackling cruiserweight Carl Thompson (the second fight, an eye injury, marking the sole time in his career Eubank was ever stopped in a fight). So how would a peak “Simply The Best,” as the controversial Brighton man called himself, have done against the feared GGG of today?
Eubank had a rock for a chin, so a Golovkin KO or stoppage, though possible, would not have been likely. Eubank, though, often exhibited a lowly, even lazy, punch output, adopting this approach in a number of his fights. If he had tried to coast to victory against Golovkin, Eubank would surely have been in trouble. But a hungry and fully energised Eubank – the one that upset Benn in an all-British super-fight in 1990 – might have given Golovkin a real handful. Eubank won that one, as we know, and he was always dangerous in ANY fight (see his near-tragic second clash with Watson, where a seemingly beaten and exhausted Eubank rose from the canvas late in a fight he was clearly losing to dramatically and brutally halt Watson in an unforgettable contest) – but Chris did struggle with plenty of fighters who were ordinary in comparison to GGG.
In short, it would have been tough for Eubank to have out-worked or out-punched Golovkin, but it would also have been tough for GGG to have KO’d Eubank. A hard, possibly ageing (for the loser) points win for Golovkin is how this fictitious fight would likely have ended up. But let’s hear from the man himself, the enigmatic 49-year-old who now guides his son. Eubank is sure he would have “beaten up” Golovkin:
“I would have beaten him,” Eubank told Sky Sports when speaking about today’s middleweight king. “I would beat him up. I wouldn’t box him. I would beat him up. I’m not going in there looking to see whether I can beat him. I’m going in there to take it, just as Junior is going to. For anyone who may say, ‘You’re saying that after the fact and it can’t be proven and it’s not nice, Mr. Eubank to speak that way about a fighter you can’t fight,’ with respect I take back what I said. I would know how to beat him. I’m not disrespecting his ability. He is a fantastic boxer and a great fighter. I would know how to deal with him and I know my son can.”
However you feel a Eubank-GGG fight would have gone, you must concede that it would have been a hard fight, maybe a fierce fight, for both men. But can Eubank Junior do as his dad says and beat the man plenty of good judges rate as the best in the world pound-for-pound today? That looks unlikely, but Eubank Senior has been very vocal, for some time now, about how his son can do it. And to see this particular fight, one requires neither a time machine nor a vivid imagination.
It might take some incredible game-plan from the Eubanks to accomplish this seemingly mission impossible, however.