Exclusive: Tom Doran unfazed at being Chris Eubank Jr’s first opponent since Nick Blackwell
Middleweight contender Tom Doran does not harbour any concerns about fighting Chris Eubank Jr following the tragic circumstances of Eubank’s last fight and is fully focussed on achieving his British title dream.
Eubank Jr won the British belt back in March after a bruising encounter against Nick Blackwell which left the former champion with a bleed on the skull and in an induced coma for several days to follow.
Blackwell has since made a full recovery and Eubank will now make the first defence of his title against Welshman Doran on June 25 at London’s O2 Arena on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s PPV heavyweight world title defence against Dominic Breazeale.
For Doran (17-0, 7 KO), it is a chance to realise a dream he has held since turning professional and he is relishing his role as underdog.
“Preparation is going really well for this fight and it is actually the first time in my career that I have had time off work to really focus. I have a month off leading up to the fight and so far training is going tremendously”, the 28-year old exclusively told World Boxing News.
“I’m delighted to finally have this opportunity and the British belt is what I have wanted since turning professional – this is what it is all about for me. I’ve done the fighting in leisure centres in front of a home crowd so this is definitely different.
“To fight on a massive card in a huge arena is a great feeling and I’m really excited. Eubank is the household name so that takes all the pressure away from me. With that, most people are generally writing me off anyway which is great because I love proving people wrong.”
Although the fight could be the first time Doran – who has stopped his last four opponents within five rounds – goes the full scheduled twelve-round distance, the Welshman is confident in his conditioning and holds no concerns over facing Eubank.
He said: “The distance is no worry for me and the conditioning is always there. It was there in my last few fights, I just haven’t needed it. In my last fight against Luke Keeler I was actually being cautious early on but just took a massive shot which luckily woke me up. I expect this fight to be exciting and I will play my part.
“You’ve always got concerns going into any fight but you have to put them to the back of your mind and it is no different in this case. It was a very rare accident – if you want to call it that – and you can’t worry about things like what happened to Nick who I’m delighted has made a full recovery.
“People shouldn’t worry about it affecting me and we don’t know if it might affect Eubank in there – we saw how it hurt his father. Whatever the situation, I am expecting the best Chris Eubank Jr and he will get the best Tom Doran.
“The fight is not too far away now and I just want to thank everyone for their continuous support and well wishes, it is really appreciated.”
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123