Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Chris Eubank Jr hits out at Billy Joe Saunders & Callum Smith for 'waiting around' for Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez
"They are waiting around for scraps. I would never put my career on hold for anybody."
Last Updated: 04/04/20 4:56pm
Chris Eubank Jr has criticised Billy Joe Saunders and Callum Smith by insisting he would "not put his career on hold" by waiting for Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez.
Saunders pipped Smith in a race to land the lucrative and career-defining opportunity to face Mexican icon Canelo on May 2 but the fight was never announced amid the coronavirus pandemic and is currently uncertain.
But Eubank Jr has mocked the British pair of super-middleweight world champions by claiming "I don't think either actually wants to fight Canelo".
Asked if he would have shown the same patience as Saunders or Smith in negotiations to face Canelo, Eubank Jr exclusively told Sky Sports: "Absolutely not. They are waiting around for scraps.
"I would never put my career on hold for anybody.
"There are too many belts, too many other great fights, that can be made.
"Canelo is young with a huge fan-base and will continue fighting so there is no need to stall your career for him. If anything, being active is the best way to fight him because the more wins you have, people will say: 'Let's see what you can do'. Being active is the best option."
Eubank Jr said about Saunders and Smith: "They say they are [negotiating] - I don't think either actually wants to fight Canelo. They may want a pay-day but they don't want to fight.
"Each of their previous performances were terrible so there's no doubt in my mind that Canelo would stop them both."
Saunders ended Eubank Jr's unbeaten start in 2014, with both rivals taking separate paths since then, and the Hatfield man holds the WBO super-middleweight belt, while Liverpudlian Smith is the WBA 'super' champion at 168lbs.
Canelo was looking to solidify his grip over four divisions by targeting a belt at super-middleweight and was expected to confirm a challenge against Saunders when the coronavirus outbreak began.
Saunders' licence was suspended this week by the British Boxing Board of Control for a video that he posted on social media.
Eubank Jr said: "It would be a more exciting fight with me [against Canelo] rather than Saunders or Smith.
"The entire world knows that Saunders would run for 12 rounds in a boring fight then would be caught and knocked out. That is not a fight I'm interested in seeing. I don't get the interest. Saunders has a belt which is the only reason he has this opportunity but, who knows, maybe that belt won't be with him for much longer if he's banned after what he's done.
"Smith's performance against John Ryder? We saw a lot of weaknesses in his game. Canelo is a far superior version of Ryder in terms of his style - come-forward, inside-fighting. Smith couldn't deal with that against Ryder so what are they thinking? He barely got past Ryder.
"I think Ryder won that fight. I should be the next man at middleweight."
Eubank Jr completed a career-best win last year by beating James DeGale then marked his US debut with a stoppage of Matt Korobov, who withdrew injured in the second round.
The 30-year-old is the WBA interim middleweight champion - Canelo holds the full championship but is now targeting a title in the division above.
"Technically, my fight with Korobov should have been for the full world title, not the interim. So it's annoying that Canelo is able to do what he's not supposed to be doing. His name gets him certain privileges."
Eubank Jr, who is currently training in America during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has given his backing to Chain of Hope, a children's charity.
"I would like people to help me support the Chain of Hope which is a charity that is close to my heart who offer life save operations for children in need," he said.
"I've just signed onto Cameo in which I will be donating a large percentage to support the kids who are even more so at risk."