• Steve Bunce

Nice to have a Eubank back on the scene

Steve Bunce July 28, 2014
Chris Eubank Sr (right) believes his son (left) will be bigger than Floyd Mayweather Jr © PA Photos

Chris Eubank, the dad, was an exceptional fighter according to Chris Eubank, the son.

"I'm not anywhere near my father's level yet," admitted Eubank Jr on Saturday in Manchester after winning for the 17th time. "But, I want to be better than him - I want to eclipse his achievements."

On Saturday he needed less than three minutes of round one to dump Croatia's Ivan Jukic on the canvas. It was a ruthless display against a truly hapless victim and that was, trust me, part of the plan.

Ronnie Davies, the quiet man in the Eubank business for the last quarter of a century, was very happy with the son's efforts. "He is brutal when he needs to be and when he wants to be," said Davies, who was at Eubank Sr's side for all the great nights and fights. "I'm ready to do it all again." He was not joking; it is fair to say that nobody is joking now.

Buncey's Boxing Podcast: Brook, Browne, Morgan, Edwards

Eubank Jr is a real fighter but he has not yet been in a real fight, which is no longer a contradiction in the boxing business. He has hit and cuffed and stalked and posed his way from ring-to-ring, and with each easy win his profile has increased.

There is the very real possibility that the apprenticeship days are over and that before the end of the year he will have some proper fights. His father's progress at this stage was much harsher and, we now know, it prepared him perfectly for 24 world title fights. The son does not have anything like the same grounding and that could be a hurtful factor when the twelve round fights start; there will come a time when hard determined men are in the opposite corner.

When Eubank Sr was unbeaten in 17 fights he was eighteen months younger than his son but the main difference was the calibre of the tough men that he had beaten. Eubank Sr took care of Frankie Moro, Simon Collins, Anthony Logan, Randy Smith, Ron Malek and Winston Burnett. British boxing, it has to be said, has not improved with the introduction of eastern bloc professionals like Jukic and the other eight that Eubank Jr has biffed, bashed and sent packing with ease.

"Nobody will spar with me, nobody wants to come and train with me," insisted Eubank Jr. "They have all heard stories and seen the film." The 'film' is a sparring session between Eubank Jr and Carl Froch and the 'stories' are about brutal sessions with James DeGale and George Groves. Make no mistake, this kid can fight.

"He will be bigger than Floyd Mayweather," promised Eubank Sr.

Eubank Jr could end up fighting the British, Commonwealth and new European middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders. It is a big fight now but will get bigger. "I'd love to shut him up, I'm beyond him now but I just want to shut him up," said Saunders on Saturday night when he won the vacant European title.

A few weeks ago the Eubanks claimed to have never heard of Saunders and the fake snub seems to have worked. "If Average Joe Saunders wants to get knocked out, then I will oblige him," said Eubank Jr. It was, it has to be said, a classic Eubank Sr line. It's nice to have a fighting Eubank back on the scene.

Chris Eubank Jr needed less than three minutes to put Ivan Jukic on the canvas in his last fight © PA Photos
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.