Exclusive: IBO reaffirm Chris Eubank Jr. as number one contender at 168

Phil Jay
Chris Eubank Jr

Eubank Jr. dropped the belt when losing out to George Groves, although ‘The Saint’ was never sanctioned to claim the crown.

This meant the strap immediately went vacant in February and IBO President Ed Levine told WBN at the time that Eubank Jr. would be made number one contender.

“We have the present situation in which the IBO title is vacant. According to our championship rules, we will sanction a fight for our title to the two leading available contenders in our rankings,” Levine exclusively told World Boxing News in the aftermath of the Manchester contest.

“Is Chris Eubank Jr. now eligible to contest for our now vacant super middleweight world title? A glance at the BoxRec rating answers – absolutely yes!

“Chris Eubank Jr. now stands at no. 1 as a challenger not holding a world title. He, therefore, would be considered to regain that title against a high-ranked opponent.

“I also firmly believe that he can redeem himself with a proper victory over a high-ranked opponent,” predicted the IBO head.

As rumors swirl of a potential World Boxing Super Series reserve bout with John Ryder or Zack Parker on the George Groves v Callum Smith undercard finale later this year, Levine reiterated Eubank’s position with the organization.

“We have not received any sanction request (for Eubank v Ryder) at this time. However, Chris Eubank Jr. is definitely in the mix for our vacant title,” Levine told WBN.

Taking a glance at the ratings, and Eubank is obviously at the helm, with Ryder just inside the Top 15.

A decision is expected on Eubank’s future this month.

IBO Super-middleweight ratings (June 2018): 

1 Chris Eubank Jr
2 Callum Smith
3 Jose Uzcategui
4 Jesse Hart
5 Nadjib Mohammedi
6 Tyron Zeuge
7 Arthur Abraham
8 Juergen Braehmer
9 Fedor Chudinov
10 Anthony Dirrell
11 Avni Yildirim
12 Caleb Truax
13 Vincent Feigenbutz
14 Rocky Fielding
15 John Ryder

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay.

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