Great Britain's Chris Eubank Jr. will be glued to his screen on Saturday, September 26th, watching the Showtime pay-per-view (7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT). The one fight on the card that is of particular interest to Eubank has WBC regular middleweight champion Jermall Charlo and Sergiy Derevyanchenko squaring off for Charlo’s title. “I’ll be watching that very closely because I’m looking to fight the winner,” said Eubank. “I want anyone with the belt in the middleweight or super middleweight division. Wherever the opportunity lies. That fight definitely interests me.” Eubank expects to be headed back to the ring in December 2020 in the United States but there has been no announcement yet.
Eubank, 29-2 with 22 KOs, set his sights on that belt ever since he and Charlo fought on the same card last December. Charlo (30-0, 22 KOs) defended his title by knocking out Dennis Hogan in seven while Eubank – in his U.S. debut and return to middleweight after spending the last several years campaigning at 168 pounds – defeated Matt Korobov.
Since then, Eubank’s desire to obtain that strap has only increased—along with his ability to fight, says the 30 year-old son of British boxing legend Chris Eubank Sr. The younger Eubank attributes his improvement to boxing legend Roy Jones Jr. The two first connected back in February, when Eubank flew to his Pensacola estate. They’ve been inseparable ever since. Jones is now his full-time trainer. “There have been many improvements since I began working with Roy,” says Eubank. “Footwork, movement, jabbing…there are so many things that at an elite level, you forget to work on, like the fundamentals. It’s the small things that actually count, and that’s something I’ve learned from Roy. That makes you a complete fighter.”
Even so, the biggest change, says Eubank, has nothing to do with technique. “It’s been a great experience for me over the past six months, very eye-opening,” said Eubank. “Before I had a go to war mentality. I still have that; that hasn’t changed. But Roy has taught me a lot of things which, mentally, give you an advantage over an opponent. I’m thinking in there, not just going guns blazing at my opponent. Now there is a thought process behind what I’m doing.”
According to Eubank, neither Charlo nor Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KOs) can say that they’re complete. “Listen, [Charlo] has done what he had to do to get that belt, and I respected that—I respect any man that gets in the ring and handles his business,” said Eubank. “Sure, he can scrap. He’s not afraid to go toe-to-toe. He has an energy about him which has helped him get to where he’s at. But as far as what he brings to the table, it doesn’t impress me. I don’t see any danger in what he brings to the ring. Derevyanchenko is not particularly fast or strong but he’s solid. And he’s not afraid.”
All of that is part of the reason why Eubank believes Derevyanchenko will be Charlo’s first major test at 160. Last October, the Brooklyn, New York-based Ukrainian was on the wrong end of a split decision versus Gennady Golovkin, a bout some feel Derevyanchenko should have won. “I think Charlo is still green, that he still has a lot to prove,” said Eubank. “He hasn’t fought anybody of note, who would be a true test. Knocking guys out at the lower level doesn’t mean much. When you’re in there with a killer, then we can really assess him. I give Derevyanchenko a lot of credit for the Golovkin fight. I think it could have gone either way. But a lot of times, you have to overwhelmingly beat the champion to win. It was close. So, to me, Charlo-Derevyanchenko is a 50-50 fight. They’re both come-forward fighters, so it should be exciting to watch. It’ll come down to who has the better chin, who has the will to win and who wants it most.”
In the interim, Eubank will continue to prepare for that world title opportunity. “At this stage, with the pandemic and everything that’s going on, you can’t afford to be picky with who you want to fight. You just need to get out there because it’s hard right now. Fight fans can get ready for a new and improved Chris Eubank Jr., with Roy Jones in my corner. I’m very excited to start this new chapter in my career and even more excited to start it in America.”