Chris Eubank Jr. believes British champion Nick Blackwell is merely keeping the throne warm and that on March 26 he will be relieved of his duties and a superior division ruler will be crowned.
Blackwell and Eubank Jr. collide at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live on Channel 5, and the challenger, a former WBA interim world middleweight champion in his own right, is adamant it’s high time for a changing of the guard.
“I don’t care about Nick Blackwell,” he said. “I only care about the British title he possesses. That’s the only reason I’m fighting him.
“He doesn’t impress me as a fighter and he doesn’t excite me as an opponent. I think he’s a very bland character. He’s someone who is not really doing British boxing or the British title any justice whatsoever. It’s not good for boxing if he’s the British champion. They need someone who is really going to fly the flag and inspire and excite people. That’s not him. I’m going to take the belts from him and make the British public proud.”
Some have suggested Eubank Jr.’s desire to win a British title is motivated in part by the fact his father, Chris Sr., never picked one up during his own accomplished career. The 26-year-old, however, is quick to shoot down that assumption.
“It has nothing to do with my father,” he said. “No, he didn’t win the British title, but he achieved great things in his career. I respect everything he achieved. I’m just blessed to have the opportunity to challenge for this title.
“Ultimately, I am patriotic. I am British. I have grown up here. I love England. It would make me very proud to say I have accomplished this goal. It’s something I have always wanted to achieve from day one. That’s why I’m going full steam ahead to achieve this milestone in my career. It will be a great addition to my legacy.”
Eubank Jr. came face-to-face with Blackwell earlier this month at a London press conference and claims he saw nothing to suggest the champion stands a chance of holding on to his title on March 26.
“I saw no confidence at all,” said Eubank Jr. “I saw a guy putting on a front for the media. I saw through everything he was saying and trying to do. He’s a pretender. He’s trying to be somebody he’s not because he knows he’s in too deep and is going to lose.
“But it’s never personal. It’s always business. I’m fighting him not because I don’t like him but because he has a title I want. I’m sure he’s a great guy. But he’s got something I want. It doesn’t matter whether he likes me or hates me. And that goes for everyone who is watching the fight as well. You can love me or loathe me, but so long as you’re watching, I’m happy.”
*** Tickets for the British middleweight title blockbuster between Nick ‘Bang Bang’ Blackwell and Chris Eubank Jr. are priced at £35, £50, £75, £175, £200 and £250 for ringside and can be purchased online at ssearena.co.uk and axs.com or by phoning the SSE Arena, Wembley Box Office on 0844 815 0815 ***