CHRIS EUBANK JNR came face-to-face with Moscow’s Dmitry Chudinov in a London restaurant today ahead of their February 28 WBA Interim middleweight title fight at the O2.
The Brighton man was flanked by his father, the irrepressible Chris Eubank, and the duo spoke confidently about getting back on track following the tight November loss to Billy Joe Saunders.
“I haven’t seen too much of him [Chudinov] but I know enough,” said Eubank Jnr. “He’s a come-forward fighter, who’s strong, but he’s going to be walking on to a lot of shots. He’s one-dimensional, unless he’s changed.”
Prior to the loss to Saunders, Eubank spoke of not needing a game-plan because he would score a knockout. As a consequence, the 25-year-old gave away many of the early rounds by swinging recklessly at the British champion before recovering in the second half of the points defeat.
He accepts that approach was flawed.
“It was a mistake I will not be making again,” he said.
His father also accepted the tactics, or lack of, were all wrong against Saunders.
“My prediction is only that Junior will do what he does best which is box. If he can do that he can achieve anything in boxing.”
Frank Warren believes the Saunders test came too soon for Eubank Jnr but the lessons learned might prove invaluable. He hopes the winner of this fight will be matched with whoever triumphs in the proposed WBO title fight between Saunders and champion, Andy Lee.
“It was tough trying to make this fight [with Chudenov] but having spoken to Chris Snr, he didn’t want his son to be going back to 10-round fights so we made this one,” said Warren. “This is a big, big moment in his career, and it’s a big if, but if he comes through it, it sets up some big fights in the UK and in the future.”
Eubank’s trainer Ronnie Davies was also present, nursing injured ribs sustained in a fall. The veteran coach has been forced to take a break from his duties as a result, and the fighter has been training in Manchester – at Joe Gallagher’s gym – sparring the likes of Paul and Liam Smith. But Davies’ role has not been compromised.
“There’s no new trainer,” said Junior. “I’m just there for the sparring.”
Davies added: “I speak with Joe Gallagher every day and I find out how the sparring has gone.”
Chudinov, alongside manager Vlad Hrunov, was regularly urged to play the ‘bad guy’ by Eubank who seemed eager to trigger some friction.
“Have you ever heard of the term nice guys finish last?” Eubank asked while the Russians were complimenting his father. “You can’t be the good guy because you’re fighting an Englishman in England. Being a nice guy isn’t going to build headlines. You need to be the bad guy, tell them [the media] how you’re going to take my head off. Say something to build this fight.”
The 28-year-old was not interested. “Let’s find out on February 28. Right now we’re just meeting. I will beat you. That’s it.”