Chris Eubank Jr’s future fuelled by tragic loss of younger brother
After coming through some of the darkest days of his life, Chris Eubank Jr. is excited for the future.
The Roy Jones-trained middleweight contender is now one of the flagship fighters on Sky Sports after their recent deal with Wasserman Boxing, the management group behind Eubank, and the 31-year-old is hoping his October 2 fight with Sven Elbir kickstarts bigger things.
In 32 contests, Eubank has losses to George Groves and Billy Joe Saunders but remains convinced world titles are within his grasp. And while he wants them sooner rather than later, he’s planning on sticking around for a while yet.
“I’m watching boxers and UFC fighters [aged] 38, 39, 40, 41 and they’re still getting in the ring and they’re still fighting so as far I’m concerned, I’ve still got 10 years to entertain, to make money and to fulfil all my dreams,” Eubank said. “The next two-three-four years are the years when I have to be in the big fights. I have to fight the big names. I have to fight for the world title and, God-willing, defend the world titles. And I will do that. That’s something that is in my grasp and we will see that in the next 12 to 24 months. Everything will come to fruition. In terms of the long term, there’s no retiring or anything like that. It’s so far off it’s not even a thought.”
Eubank is a similar age now to how old his father was when he called it a day, but Eubank Sr. had boxed 52 times, winning world titles at 160 and 168 before taking some big fights at cruiserweight. Eubank Jr, who has also boxed at 160 and 168, has now focused his sights on the middleweight division.
“I’m flexible,” he continued. “I’ve been fighting for three years at 168 but I am not a super middleweight, I am naturally not big enough at that weight but, saying that, a fight with Canelo is a fight I would move up to have. He’s the only name I would move up for. Outside of him, I’m staying at 160. There are some great fights and big names down here at 160 and I can beat them and I will beat them, so middleweight is where I’m at for the foreseeable future.”
His trainer, Roy Jones, flies into the U.K. later this week and Eubank said they’ve been constantly in touch and that he’s “very happy with the relationship that we have.”
But Eubank has been grief-stricken by the loss of younger brother Sebastian, who died in July aged just 29. Chris is using his new start to focus his energies in a positive direction.
“Obviously it was very recent and it definitely took a toll on me mentally, it was hard to go to the gym and train and act like everything was okay. On top of that I got Covid at the same time, then I got over Covid and I got sick again a week after, so it was a bad period and you don’t go through all that and then go and fight a huge fight, or a world title fight… Mentally and physically I was drained, so we decided that we would go with the step up against Sven Elbir, a strong, tough opponent, the right opponent for me to get into the ring with, and then we’re looking for a world title or a very big name at the end of the year in December. I had it [Covid] very bad, I had breathing issues and it was really bad. I actually missed my brother’s burial because of Covid. I couldn’t go there, so it was tough, but we’re here now, moving forward and I’m very excited for the future, being a flagship name on Sky Sports Boxing and with the Sauerland Brothers and Wasserman Boxing, it’s an awesome opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it.”
He also wants to be active. He believes his time is now and from Elbir the main event nights will follow. The Sauerlands have mentioned the likes of Liam Williams as a future opponent, but Eubank wants to stay busy.
“Three fights a year, we will do that this year and we will look to replicate that next year,” he added. “These are my prime years. I can’t let any more time go to waste. Covid messed up a lot of things for a lot of people including myself, and I want to make up for that lost time, so activity and being in the ring as much as possible is the goal for the next few years. This is the next step on an exciting journey with the Sauerland brothers, Wasserman and Sky Sports Boxing. With pretty much taking over Sky Sports Boxing it gives me the opportunity to push myself and be exposed to the biggest sports following in Britain.”
Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Sven Elbir takes place on October 2 at The SSE Arena, Wembley, live and exclusive on Sky Sports. Tickets available via www.AXS.com