Chris Eubank Jr’s signing with Team Sauerland earlier this week should provide some much-needed momentum for a career that has stalled somewhat after a Covid-19 affected year.
Yet in that time, the Brighton man (29-2, 22 KOs) has forged a bond with new trainer Roy Jones in America and is perhaps better equipped for a serious tilt at a world championship. As the WBA’s No.1 contender, Eubank is, in theory, in pole position to face the organisation’s ‘Super’ champion Ryota Murata in the next year.
Former WBA featherweight champion Barry McGuigan is among Eubank’s admirers and believes the middleweight contender can mix it with the best in a division lacking a dominant force since Canelo Alvarez moved up in weight.
Style wise, McGuigan feels the slick Demetrius Andrade might prove the most problematic though that fight seems unlikely with the WBO champion freshly reordered to face mandatory contender Liam Williams (with purse bids likely to be called in early February) whilst still toying with a jump to super-middleweight.
“Of the four middleweight champions, Eubank Jr. has a good chance against Gennady Golovkin, Ryota Murata and Jermall Charlo,” McGuigan told The Mirror in his regular column. “To beat WBO champion Demetrius Andrade he has to get better at initiating attacks.
“IBF king GGG is a good fight for him. He’s 38 years old. No matter how good you are, after the number of fights he has had as amateur and pro, he is not getting better. Victory over GGG opens the door to big unification bouts.
“For what it’s worth, I think [Eubank] beats WBA champ Murata. WBC champion Charlo is an even fight. Andrade, a slick operator with a great jab, would be a problem for him, but he has to get there first.”
Yet McGuigan has cautioned against a clash with in-form Welshman Williams who is on the brink of his own title shot against Andrade.
“Williams can really fight and has the bit between his teeth at 160 after those back-to-back defeats to Liam Smith at light-middle,” said McGuigan. “Though he fits the bill as a fighter who comes forward, he is better than Eubank thinks and therefore a risk.
“Eubank likes people who walk on to him. That’s his big problem. Unless you are willing to do that he struggles.”