Did you think Chris Eubank Jnr deserved the decision over Billy Joe Saunders?
Ronnie Davies: I thought he’d [Eubank Jnr] just lost it. I told him before the fight not to give any of the early rounds away. You just can’t do that in championship fights. I knew that would suit Billy Joe, if he didn’t get off to a good start. I told him he was giving it away after a few rounds. He came back well, but then he had two fights. The first was to wipe out the deficit, and the second was to then go on and win. What’s the point of that? If he’d have started earlier, he could have won the fight.
How did he take the decision afterwards?
He wasn’t that bad afterwards. He realises he should have started better. It’s just a lesson isn’t it? Next time he’ll do it. Good fight, though. I thought Billy Joe boxed well, he fought the right fight but I was disappointed with Chris because he never got off early. He seemed to be lacking sharpness. I don’t know why, but he didn’t have his usual zip, it was gone. We’ve got to sort that out and work out why he didn’t.
How did you react when he told you to ‘stop talking’?
I said, ‘don’t tell me to shut up, you’ve got to go out there and work, and start throwing punches.’ I don’t worry about things like that, it just goes over my head. He doesn’t mean it in a nasty way, he just wants to do his own thing, but his own thing wasn’t working. I told him he had to stop him, or knock him out. It was no good him standing back and looking at things, he had to get him out of there. It was the only chance he had [at that point].
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Was Eubank Snr disappointed with the decision?
I haven’t spoke to his father about it but I think he accepted the decision. I think he’ll be fair enough about it. You’ll have to ask him about that. We haven’t spoke. I was disappointed obviously, because he could have done better, he could have beaten him. He didn’t produce in my opinion. He didn’t produce what he had been producing in the gym because he had been looking phenomenal.
Do you think Junior will learn from the lessons that came from the fight?
Yeah. He didn’t box enough. He just brawled all the time. He didn’t jab enough. To me that wasn’t the real Chris Eubank, in my opinion. And I know, I’m with him every day. That was not the real Eubank in there. Something was wrong and I don’t know what it was but we’ve got to work out.
Are there any plans to change things in the corner?
No, I don’t think so.
You were quiet in the early rounds. When you started talking between rounds, he picked up a bit. Were you consciously keeping quiet in those early breaks?
Yes, because only one person should speak, which was the old man, really, which I agree with. I just felt he needed a gee up. Not that Chris Snr couldn’t do that, but my emotions probably got the better of me, I don’t know. I wanted to win the fight, I could see he had to step it up, he had to work, work, work. Eubank Snr will be alright with that, I’m just doing my job aren’t I? It’s as simple as this – he wasn’t throwing enough punches, he wasn’t being busy enough in those early rounds.
Do you still think he will fulfil his potential?
Yeah, yeah. He can’t not. I wouldn’t say that Billy Joe Saunders was too good for him, it was a close fight. But I thought that Billy Joe just nicked it because of his work in the early rounds and that was the story of the fight. Eubank lost because he let the early rounds slip, which I told him not to do.
What went wrong and how can he improve?
He didn’t use his jab and he didn’t use his boxing. He wasn’t as sharp as normal and there must be reasons for that. But me and his old man have got to work out what those reasons are.
Who would you like to see him fight next?
I haven’t really thought about that but he’s got to build himself up to a certain extent. I’ve got my own views about what’s gone wrong. I think he’s a huge middleweight. I don’t know, maybe he should be a super-middleweight. But he done the weight easy enough so I can’t say nothing about that, but there is something wrong. Whether it was that last pound or two he lost took the edge away from him, I don’t know. But he made it easy enough – he was down at 11st 8 two days before.
It was one of the lightest he’d ever been wasn’t it?
Yeah. He was 11st 4lbs for his last bout, so he can do it, but there’s a difference when you’re going 12 rounds. He made the weight easy enough, it’s whether he did it right when he put the weight back on [after the weigh-in]. I don’t know because he insists on doing his own thing, and that concerns me. But we spoke this morning and he promised he had done it right.
Are you okay?
I’m alright. I’ve been in this business a long time. I’m used to setbacks. It’s not the end of the world is it?
No, and I thought he showed heart to come back in the second half of the fight because it looked early that he might be dominated.
He’s a strong, he’s got a big heart, powerful kid. He did come back well. We’ll work it out, he’ll come again. I’m just disappointed because I felt he could and should have beaten Billy Joe. That’s no disrespect to Billy Joe because he’s a good fighter.
“Eubank Jnr must now shut his mouth,” says Saunders
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