Chris Eubank Jr has set out an ambitious three-fight wish list for the year ahead.
In many ways, 2022 was a year to forget for Eubank. He trained, went through an excruciating weight cut, and fulfilled many media obligations before the fight at the end of the road was pulled.
Conor Benn testing positive for a banned substance meant Eubank only fought once last year, and he’s desperate not to repeat that over the next twelve months.
On a more positive note, Eubank left the situation with an army of new fans and media interest which has set him up for one of the first box office events of the year.
The Brighton-born middleweight faces Liam Smith in a tasty domestic pay-per-view clash on January 21 in Manchester. Should he come through that, which he believes he will, ‘Next Gen’ wants to go international. He mentioned two other opponents to Sky Sports.
Interestingly, he didn’t utter Benn’s name, although has said previously that he does believe that fight will be rescheduled in the future.
“Golovkin number one because he has those middleweight belts and it’s a fight that can and should be made.
I guess Canelo would be number two. He’s the big name. He’s the guy everyone knows in the sport and I think I can beat him. Those would be my two Christmas wish list fights for the rest of the year.”
Eubank is well aware that the Gennady Golovkin fight has been called for for years now, and the Brit may just be getting the champion at the right time.
At 40-years-old, the Khazak fighter is coming off the back of a loss to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, and will likely be looking at retirement soon.
“There’s nobody else that people want to see him fight more than me. We have a long history. That fight could have been made a few years ago and it slipped through my fingers.
“Now we’re in a position where he can’t go anywhere else. The biggest payday, the biggest name out there is me so hopefully we get this fight made after the Smith fight, in the summer.”
Next up is Canelo, who is rumoured to be looking at a first fight in the UK before pursuing a rematch with Dmitry Bivol at light heavyweight. Eubank believes he can sell the fight better than John Ryder – the frontrunner – ever could.
“I think that will be a bit of a shame if he did choose to go down that route with John Ryder because there’s just no excitement there. The guy can fight, John can fight, but he’s not exciting and he can’t talk.”
“So you’ve got two guys who can’t talk trying to build a fight, it’s just going to be so boring and aside from that the most important thing is the fighting styles and my fighting style is a lot more exciting than John’s.”
“Canelo, if you want to fight in the UK, you’re looking at the guy you need to get in the ring with.”
First up, thought, is Liam Smith, who will likely only be fuelled more by talk like this from his opponent. Should Smith win, there’s a rematch clause for Eubank to activate, and that means that his wish list could change quite dramatically.