Chris Eubank Jr rejects being made mandatory for Janibek Alimkhanuly

Chris Eubank Jr and his management have rejected the opportunity to become the mandatory challenger for the current WBO and IBF world middleweight champion, Janibek Alimkhanuly. 

The WBO officially declared Chris Eubank Jr as the mandatory challenger for Janibek following the Kazakh’s crushing sixth-round knockout of Vincenzo Gualtieri. Janibek has reigned supreme as the WBO champion since 2022 and made one successful defence prior to unifying the WBO belt alongside the IBF title earlier this month.

Gustavo Olivieri, the in-house WBO counsel, sent Eubank Jr and manager Elliot Amoakoh an email confirming Eubank Jr’s position as mandatory challenger dated on October 23. The notice of Eubank Jr’s position has been made public on the WBO’s website with all relevant communication.

“I refer to your email dated October 12, 2023, regarding the above-referenced fighter (Chris Eubank Jr). Please refer to section six of the WBO regulations of world championship contests. Be advised that the WBO World Championship Committee will enforce the foregoing section and any other relevant sections accordingly when deemed appropriate. 

“Lastly, this committee reserves the right to issue all rulings deemed necessary, helpful and committee to accomplish the purposes, policies and intent of the WBO rules, including serving those interests that best serve boxing, its middleweight division, and the World Boxing Organisation, respectively.” 

Eubank Jr’s manager, Elliot Amoakoh, responded to the notification from the WBO regarding Eubank Jr’s elevation to mandatory challenger status by requesting to be removed from the position via email. 

“We kindly request that you refrain from considering him for any mandatory bouts or eliminators for your esteemed titles in the forthcoming weeks.

Currently, we are in the midst of negotiations for an alternative fight on his behalf, and we wish to be considerate of everyone’s time, while also ensuring opportunities for other fighters are preserved.”

Chris Eubank jr is speculated to return to the ring in December and face domestic rival Conor Benn, with negotiations between Eubank Jr, Benn, Matchroom and Wasserman Boxing set to begin this week. 

Eubank Jr recently returned to winning ways by securing a rematch victory over Liam Smith in September. Eubank Jr had previously suffered a stoppage defeat to Smith in January.