On the back of the news that he will be defending his British title against Tommy Langford, Chris Eubank Jr has opened up about why a mega fight between himself and pound for pound rated Gennady Golovkin never materialized.
It seemed nailed on that the Brighton middleweight would be the next opponent of the unified Kazakh world champion until a sudden turn of events saw an unexpected announcement made that ‘GGG’ would be defending his belts against Sheffield’s undefeated welterweight king Kell Brook in London on September 10.
Since the news outbreak, journalists, fans, boxers and promoters alike have all had their say as to why and how Brook got the shot ahead of Eubank Jr, but finally, the man at the centre of it all has his chance to put light on the situation.
Speaking exclusively to World Boxing News, Eubank Jr said: “My initial reaction was one of shock and I didn’t believe it at first.
“One minute we were in talks and the fight was about to happen and then the next I see that Golovkin is fighting Brook. It was completely last minute and was very confusing.
“It was the fight that I wanted and I can’t comment on who is to blame for it not being finalised – I wasn’t involved in the negotiations. I leave all of that to my management team and my father.
“One thing I do believe is that everything happens for a reason and God has a plan in place. The fight will still happen, just at a later date now and I want to face the winner who I most definitely believe will be GGG. This just gives me more time to prepare really.”
While Eubank Jr focusses on what goes on inside the ropes, he leaves the business on the outside of it to his namesake father and management team – one that has been branded difficult to work with.
Many have questioned the heavy involvement of his iconic father – a former world champion – and have suggested that he is the reason why the Golovkin fight fell through, a claim Eubank Jr refutes.
“Everyone has their own opinions on us, but the only people saying that Team Eubank are difficult to work with are your Frank Warrens and your Matchroom Sports. It is their job to make as much money as possible and it is our job to make as much as we can for us.
“My father and the team have a lot of experience, they know what to ask for and know what’s deserved of giving to a fighter. Other fighters and outfits maybe don’t know the business as much or don’t expect certain things, but we do, we know our worth and we won’t ever be short changed.
“That might ruffle a few feathers with certain promoters, but as I say I’m not part of negotiations, I’m just here to fight, I know my team and my father work on my behalf and they negotiate the best possible deals for me.”
That conflicting liaison between the 26-year-old’s current promoter Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing and his father has been well documented in the media, but Eubank Jr is assured that the relationship is a healthy one despite stablemate Brook pipping him to the Golovkin fight.
He said: “I enjoy fighting on Sky with Matchroom and it is where I want to remain. As far as I know, I have one fight left on my contract. Eddie expects me to fight the winner of Golovkin vs Brook, so of course, that would be on Sky and the relationship is healthy.
“I give Brook no chance in the fight, although I wish him the best of luck as a fellow Brit. I just think ‘GGG’ will be too strong and too big.
“I have been watching all the press conferences and build up and besides it being very boring, Brook doesn’t look confident and he looks like a deer in headlights. To me, he just seems happy to be there and be a part of this big occasion, not going in expecting to win.”
Both father and son have made their intentions of winning the British middleweight title outright very clear and it has now been announced that Eubank will next defend his belt against Birmingham’s Tommy Langford, after the challenger’s promoter Frank Warren won the purse bids.
“I’m not fighting GGG so the logical thing to do is to defend British title and I would love to win it outright,” Eubank Jr continued. “Langford is a solid fighter, so I am definitely interested in the fight.
“I can only beat who is put in front of me and Langford is mandatory. We are not saying that we want to fight him, this is us being told we have to fight him by the BBBofC so it is what it is. I will do whatever and face whoever I have to in order to win it outright.”
Eubank Jr is two defences away from winning the belt outright, having stopped Tom Doran since claiming the Lonsdale strap from Nick Blackwell back in March.
Matt Horan is lead writer for WBN. Follow on Twitter @mhoran123