CHRIS EUBANK JNR responded to criticism surrounding his February 4 super-middleweight contest with Renold Quinlan today, insisting the IBO title at stake is a genuine world championship. The 12-rounder will launch ITV’s new pay-per-view platform in a move that has left fans perplexed.
Quinlan comes into the bout with an 11-1 record, though his only noteworthy victory was his most recent outing, when he handed ageing former champion Daniel Geale his third stoppage defeat in four contests. The 27-year-old lost a 10-rounder to Australian countryman Jake Carr in 2014, and is largely unknown in the boxing world. However, for Team Eubank this represents a huge opportunity to manoeuvre themselves into position for bigger fights, and become known to the public at large via the huge ITV platform.
“We were approached by ITV and they wanted us to launch their platform,” Eubank Jnr told Boxing News. “My father has a rich history of fighting on ITV at the beginning of his career. He introduced himself to the British public through ITV, and now they want to do it with me.
I was a free [promotional] agent at the time so it made sense. I was in the right place at the right time, and now we’re set to make a big impact on the boxing scene.”
When discussing the IBO title, Eubank said: “That title has been held by some of the greatest champions in recent boxing history and it’s currently held by Gennady Golovkin, at middleweight. You can’t tell me anything, it’s a legitimate world title.”
DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE IT IS A GENUINE TITLE?
Eubank insists the move to super-middleweight is simply because this opportunity arose, and is not him waving goodbye to the middleweight division where he made his name.
“It’s not permanent [the move to super-middleweight],” he said. “There was an opportunity put in front of me and I took it. I’ve always wanted to be world champion. Renald Quinlan is the IBO super-middleweight world champion and he wanted to defend the title over here. Once I win that world title, which I will do, then I’m there to try and negotiate with any world champion in the middle and super-middleweight division. That’s my goal, it’s open season after that.”
The ultimate goals remain the same for Eubank Jnr; a showdown with middleweight leader Gennady Golovkin and his lone conqueror, WBO boss Billy Joe Saunders.
“It will be easier to make the Billy Joe Saunders fight once I’ve made my name on ITV, become a world champion, then it’s going to be easier to make these type of fights,” Eubank said, before discussing Saunders’ recent lacklustre showing against Artur Akavov.
“His last performance was flat,” Junior commented. “If he comes in with that kind of performance against me it would be a massacre anyway. I’m a different fighter now, times the fighter I was in the first fight by 100 and that’s the fighter I am now. As far as I can see, he’s stayed exactly the same.”
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH EUBANK JNR, WHERE HE ALSO DISCUSSES WHY HE DIDN’T FIGHT GENNADY GOLOVKIN