In an official statement sent exclusively to World Boxing News on Saturday, Chris Eubank Jr. and his team explained in detail their reasons for vacating the British middleweight title.
The 26 year-old suffered an elbow in training for an October 22 defence against mandatory challenger Tommy Langford, set to take place in Cardiff, leading to a decision being made to drop the coveted Lonsdale Belt.
As Eubank Jr. was keen to win the title outright, his time out would have put a block of the strap, meaning the likes of Langford would miss out on an opportunity to contest it.
Another reason cited was the outcome of the bout with Nick Blackwell which highlights what Eubank’s team labelled in the press release as a gulf in class between the Brighton man and the other British contenders.
“Eubank Jnr’s management team have advised that, in their opinion, there has not been a fighter in the history of British Boxing who has had such a vast chasm of fighting prowess between him and the contenders for the British Championship in ability, speed, strength, accuracy and skill since its inauguration by the Marquess of Queensbury in the 1800’s,” read part of the statement.
“So vast, in fact, that when winning the challenge for British Championship, Chris Eubank Snr had to advise him to leave his opponent’s head alone as he was taking far too much punishment and the referee didn't see what was clear to the former world champion.
“Chris Eubank Jnr was advised to go to the body because of his father’s past participation in the great game. If you can disrupt your opponent’s breathing, you can effectively stop him quicker than to the head. There is strategic and tactical knowledge in the advice as well as compassion because the body can recover where the head does not always recover.
“The opponent was subsequently put into an induced coma as a result of the punishment he was made to sustain.
“It is now with relief, as it has become clear to Chris Eubank Jnr’s management over these past few months how much danger the health and lives of these contenders are in, therefore the relinquishing of the British Championship due to injury sustained in a sparring session is perhaps a blessing in disguise.”
By rights, Langford should be allowed to continue his pursuit of the British belt next month in Wales, although securing a top contender at short notice may be the only sticking point for promoter Frank Warren and could lead to a stay-busy offering being arranged instead.