CHRIS EUBANK JNR cut a confident figure in London today as he attended a press conference alongside November 29 rival Billy Joe Saunders for the first time. Perhaps mindful of the criticism that has surrounded previous no-shows – namely that his father engineered the absences – the 25-year-old keenly answered questions and went to verbal war without Eubank Snr present.
“It’s part of the job,” said a relaxed Eubank Jnr. “I’ve come along without security, without my father and without my trainer. I told my father to stay at home and put his feet up. He doesn’t need to listen to Saunders go on and on for an hour. I know I haven’t turned up before but quite frankly I’ve had more important things to do. Like training.”
Saunders, equally content, chuckled and altered his cap.
“Listen to this guy, ‘I’ve left my dad at home’,” mocked the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight champion. “Ha. I bet his dad is in the car park. Mind you, he can travel alone now he’s 25.”
Saunders then spoke of a £100,000 charity bet on the outcome and insisted he was willing to get his lawyer – present at the back of the room – to finalise the details there and then. Eubank sighed and said he had nothing from lawyers, and does not expect to, despite agreeing to the flutter a month ago.
After Saunders likened Eubank to a “fish out of water” the challenger replied: “He [Saunders] is a walking contradiction, saying that. He says I’ve jumped the line but all he’s done is talk about me for the last two years.
“He’s been saying he’s going to beat me up but I didn’t know who he was until his name was mentioned to me. I had to YouTube him to see who he was, and I thought, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll fight him.’It should have been me gunning for him, chasing him, because he’s the champion.”
Saunders joked, “Yeah, it will be a privilege to share the ring with Chris Eubank Jnr.”
“It will be one you’ll regret,” Eubank snapped back.
Saunders reiterated a promise to retire if he does not beat Eubank in five or six rounds and it was a vow that Junior intends to remind him of as that time in the fight approaches.
“I’ll tell him at the end of the fourth, ‘If you don’t stop me in the next round you’re kissing goodbye to your career’.”
Saunders’ experienced trainer Jimmy Tibbs – no stranger to press conference promises – said he nothing of the vow but insisted that his fighter will work to a gameplan and not go all out to stop Eubank before halfway.
“That’s where we’re different,” Eubank countered. “I don’t need someone telling me what to do. I don’t need my father or [coach] Ronnie Davies telling me what to do because I’ll figure it out myself.”
“You don’t need a trainer?” Tibbs said. “Then you’re one in a million you are.”
Eubank said: “That’s exactly what I am. One in a million.”
For the full Saunders-Eubank preview don’t miss this week’s issue of Boxing News, available via our app on iTunes and Google Play on Tuesday.
Subscribe to BOXING NEWS, established in 1909, and the longest running publication on the market. SAVE MONEY and GET THE BEST COVERAGE EVERY WEEK.