Chris Eubank Jr: ‘Canelo Alvarez Vs Billy Joe Saunders? That’s An Execution’
Chris Eubank Jr is breaking down 2021 super-fights for SPORTbible: Anthony Joshua vs Tyson Fury, Canelo Alvarez vs Billy Joe Saunders, himself vs Gennady Golovkin.
Dream fights had to occupy the British middleweight's mind in 2020. The pandemic meant he didn't have one paid last year, but Eubank admits that it had one big upside: he got to work intensively with his new trainer, the legendary Roy Jones Jr, completely free from distractions.
Stuck in Pensacola, Florida, on the Jones farm - cooped up (presumably not literally) with the hens, roosters, peacocks and dogs - he had nothing to do but to train and to learn. "I've been taught by another legend my entire career, but to have this new set of eyes on me - it's been amazing," Eubank says.
Stay ready so you don't have to get ready! pic.twitter.com/NXC0KG80j7
- Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) November 16, 2020
The 31-year-old has also signed a new promotional deal with the Sauerland brothers, the aim being to put every 160lb world champion in his sights. So SPORTbible caught up with Eubank via Zoom to discuss his future plans, YouTubers in boxing and what would've happened if his dad and his trainer had traded punches.
You haven't fought since 2019, when you beat James DeGale and Matt Korobov. How hungry are you to get back in the ring?
"It's unbelievable. Being in the ring, fighting in front of thousands of people, there's no feeling like it. It's one of those things: you become addicted to it, you chase it.
"But I understand the world situation, the importance of that. You just have to - no pun intended - roll with the punches and deal with it. But the Sauerlands have expressed how active they want me to be over the next two years - and that's what I want. I want to be as active as possible."
What's it like training with Roy Jones? Can the mind-blowing things he did in his prime even be taught, as they were so unique...
"Roy Jones is the best coach I've had in my career, I wish I had met him years ago. But better late than never. I've learned so much from him over the last year. So, purely in that sense, the pandemic has been positive for my career. Because if it wasn't for 2020 I wouldn't have come into contact with Roy; I would have stayed in Vegas and continued what I was doing.
"Even though I haven't been able to fight, I've been able to experience the teachings of a legend. Another legend teaching me [after Chris Eubank Sr]; but to have this new blood... I'm very grateful that Roy has given me the time that he has. We're very excited to show everybody what we've been working on."
My lockdown/quarantine is being spent at @RealRoyJonesJr private farm & gym in Pensacola, Florida. I'm using this time to work on my craft & add new dimensions to my game. pic.twitter.com/2yThjUlIqG
- Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) March 30, 2020
You mention two legends: have you ever asked Roy who'd have won a fight between him and your dad back in the day?
"Roy and my father are both two very proud men. I'm sure both would have fancied their chances back in their primes."
Who would you have picked, Chris?
"Between my dad and my coach, what am I going to do!? No, I'm not going to tell you one of them beats the other. But it would have been an amazing fight. It just wasn't meant to be at the time.
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"And who knows? Maybe they'll do a Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones; a catch-up. Get back in the ring now and see what happens."
Take SPORTbible's money. Speaking of dream fights, which opponent do you most want in 2021?
"The No 1 name I want is Gennady Golovkin. I've wanted to fight that man for years. I know I can beat him. And he has the middleweight world title - so if you were to ask me who I want to fight, of anyone in the world, it would be Golovkin."
Your thoughts on some potential 2021 fights: Alvarez vs Saunders?
"That's an execution."
Do we need to ask who's wielding the axe...?
"No. You guys already know who I mean."
Joshua vs Fury?
"Great fight. But I have to go with Anthony Joshua. I believe he's the No 1, top dog in the heavyweight division right now. Listen, you can never write off Fury. He's been very special over the last few years with his performances. But I just feel like Anthony has got that special sauce.
"I don't see anybody beating him now that he's learned from his mistakes against Andy Ruiz. I think that put him at another level. The loss elevated him, because it taught him things that he wouldn't have known about himself. To be able to come back from that, win the rematch and go and perform how he did in dominating Kubrat Pulev... I don't see him losing again anytime soon."
Yourself vs the unbeaten American, Jermall Charlo?
"I'm on the road to all these guys: Golovkin, Charlo, [Ryota] Murata, [Demetrius] Andrade - just get me into the ring with them. That's why I'm with Team Sauerland, because they have mapped out the path, they've given me the names. And I'm very confident they're going to deliver. Then I will deliver in the ring."
Lastly, what do you make of Floyd Mayweather vs Logan Paul - or Jake Paul and other YouTubers in boxing - good or bad for the sport?
"They're bringing a whole new audience to the sport, so I don't think it's a bad thing at all. A lot of people have issues with how much money they're making off of the sport of boxing, when they haven't really put the time in. But what can you say?
"They're still getting in the ring - which is something that 99% of the world would never do. They're still putting their reputations and their health on the line in front of millions of people. It takes balls. So who's to say they shouldn't get paid the amounts they're getting paid? They can bring the numbers in, they have the fanbase. Money talks.
"So I've never had a problem with it. I think if they weren't doing it in boxing, they'd be in some other sport and boxing wouldn't be able to benefit. And I think sport does benefit from having these stars come from different backgrounds, participating, showing the sport love, getting a whole new generation involved. Anything that grows boxing's audience sounds good to me."
Featured image credit: PA Images/Instagram @chriseubankjr
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