Chris Eubank Jr: Big-name fights, peaking in 'perfect' era, and visualising himself as world's best
"The plan for this year was three fights and it doesn't look like that's going to be the case now. "
By Chris Walker
Last Updated: 08/09/19 8:28pm
Chris Eubank Jr tells Sky Sports about biding his time for big-name fights, peaking in a 'perfect' era, and visualising himself as the world's best.
Eubank Jr can admit that 2019 hasn't gone exactly to plan despite registering the best win on his slate thus far. Back in February at a congested O2 Arena in London, Eubank Jr - despite conceding size and experience - out-hustled a game James DeGale to record the best win of his career.
Boxing's studious jury, a very harsh bunch, had reserved judgement on Eubank's progress following losses to Billy Joe Saunders in 2014, and George Groves at the start of last year, but the win over DeGale provided Eubank Jr with a prized platform, ready made to build on.
Fast forward seven months and Eubank, still very much the positive pugilist, can admit that victory over DeGale was intended to be the start of a busy 2019 that would see him add further wins and enhance his profile. Since handing DeGale the third loss of his illustrious career, and ultimately the final one as he retired in the immediate aftermath, Eubank has waited patiently for his next opportunity.
"I can't give you an exact date but expect to see me back in the ring in about two to three months," revealed Eubank Jr to Sky Sports. "The plan for this year was three fights and it doesn't look like that's going to be the case now. That doesn't mean that anything has changed in regard to me getting to where I want to be, but I did fully intend to have a busy 2019.
"The win over DeGale felt satisfying for several reasons as it proved what I've known all along. There was many who had some doubts over me regarding my position in this sport, but I've always believed in myself and that's the way it's always been."
Eubank Jr's unwavering spirit has been a trademark of the Brighton fighter since making his professional bow in 2011. Carefully guided by his father, another boxer with an admirable spirit, Eubank Jr's willpower in winning, and losing efforts, has long been documented. With some doubts regarding his ceiling made apparent heading into the DeGale showdown, the 29-year-old claims his lack of surrender has been instilled in him since an early age and it's a trait that will never leave him.
I see myself as the best fighter in the world and that's because I have to. There can't be any other way.
Chris Eubank Jr
"If people knew what I have sacrificed then they'd understand why I put so much into every fight. This has pretty much been my life for as long as I can remember and the work that has been put in to make sure that I become the best fighter in the world means that there can't be no other way. I've been hungry for success throughout my career and that hunger is still with me now.
"I see myself as the best fighter in the world and that's because I have to. There can't be any other way. I can't go into a fight with the other names that are around my weight, who want the same as me, and not believe that I'm better than them."
On his immediate future, Eubank Jr is adamant that only the grandest stages appeal to him. "I'm probably as close to my peak as I'm ever going to be, so the next stage of my career is where I have to really step up and make my mark in the biggest fights.
"These next few years is where, I believe, people are going to see the best version of me. I'm peaking at the perfect time for the best names out there and people will see that when the big fights are made."