Unbeaten super-lightweight Harlem Eubank is hoping for a break-out 2022, and that begun on the undercard of his cousin’s fight against Liam Williams last month.
It was the Brightonian’s first time appearing on the same show as Chris Eubank Jr and the occasion certainly did not get to him, an emphatic fifth round stoppage maintaining his perfect record (13-0, 5 KOs) in beating Viorel Simion.
“I enjoyed it, it was great to box on Chris’ undercard and at such a big event,” he told Boxing Social.
On reviewing his performance, he was happy with how he continues to progress. Not least, how the aggressive side of his game is developing.
“He was an experienced opponent who I took my time with and systematically broke down. You realise when you get into the game you must take that spiteful intent into the ring with you. That may not be something I had at the start, but have I gained that with experience.
“I’ve picked up momentum now. I stopped my last guy after five rounds and the same happened this time. I’m wearing my opponents down and they have no answers to defend what is coming.
“Simion has been in with some top guys and world champions. I expected him to use his experience and know how to stay in there. I thought he was going to be crafty and avoid punishment. But I was hurting him to the body and I’m developing all of the time.”
The main sub-plot of the Eubank Jr v Williams fight was the fact that Adam Booth was training both Williams and Harlem, the result of which was numerous questions during the build up to the fight.
“It was a click-bait question in fight week. I really wanted to play it down as much as possible,” said Harlem.
So much so, the 28-year-old made the decision to not have Booth in his corner come the first bell.
“Adam did my hands before and sat close by but was not officially in the corner. I wanted to keep things separate. I just didn’t want to make things more difficult than it had to be. That was my decision and I think the correct one.
“Thankfully, things are a lot easier now. It was a unique situation to be in and it made things a bit awkward. Williams seems like a nice guy; I’m pleased that is all done with now.”
Following his comprehensive win, Harlem did not hang around in getting back to the gym.
“I was back in there on the Monday, a lot of people say stuff like that, but I really was. I was planning on the Tuesday, but I had no scrapes or scratches, my hands were not hurting. The fight was almost like a warm-up, and I was just raring to go.”
He is now hopeful that there will not be a long wait for his ring return.
“They (his team) initially said April for my next outing, but it looks like that will be pushed back until May.
“I am willing to fight anywhere over the world and it should be back on a good platform over here, I am just looking to hear an exact date. I’m not certain on the opponent but it will be a bigger name and a step up the ladder. I want three more fights at least this year.”
He holds big ambitions over the next six to nine months, after which time he is expecting to have a strap around his waist.
“No doubt the aim is a title fight before the end of the year,” he said. “I’m not too sure what title we are angling for, but I’ll let Wasserman dictate what exactly we do, but it’s not far off.”
There is another big fight coming up for one of the Adam Booth boxing stable, and Eubank is very much looking forward to seeing Michael Conlan fight for a world title against Leigh Wood on March 12.
“I can’t wait for it. I think Michael is levels above him and it will show on fight night,” he predicted.
“Wood is a solid fighter, strong, technical. But when you have the experience and ability that Mick has, he takes their strengths away. He removes what a boxer has in their arsenal. You don’t realise how good he is until you are in with him. He is one of them”
In summarising his own ambitions for 2022, Eubank thinks it should be a big one for his cousin and himself.
“It would be great to appear on Chris’s card again this year, which for him should be a world title shot. For him to win a world title and me to get my first title on the same card, that would be the icing on the cake for 2022.”