Harlem Eubank has promised a statement performance for his Brighton homecoming on Friday night.
Eubank meets experienced German Timo Schwarzkopf at the Brighton Centre as he bids to announce himself at world level.
“We know what he brings and that’s the kind of challenge that I want,” said Eubank. “This is my biggest test. He’s been in with some of the top fighters in the world and this is the challenge I’m up for.”
Eubank, 18-0, said his training with coach Charlie Beatt has intensified as he’s prepared to face the German.
“The rounds of sparring, the amount of sparring, it’s all been more gruelling,” added the 29-year-old. “I’m prepared for anything that can happen in this ring and to come out on top on fight night.”
Eubank was flanked today by his uncle, Chris Eubank Sr, who did plenty of the talking and spoke of his desire to see Harlem land the fight with Conor Benn, as opposed his son Chris Eubank Jr having to boil down in weight to face Benn.
Speaking of nephew Harlem, and audaciously comparing some of his nephew’s skills to those of Sugar Ray Leonard, Eubank Sr said: “I’m excited. I’m fascinated with his ability to box. I’m not the showman people talk about, I’m a fighter. I’m a warrior. I get switched on when I see someone with so much ability and he has that ability. He is just a sweet boxer, a beautifully sweet boxer, but if you back him up into a corner….”
For his walk-on part in the Eubank show, Schwarzkopf was respectful, even interrupting himself to say he had learned from Eubank Sr’s fights as a kid.
“Oh wow, thank you,” Sr replied.
“He’s very good, a good fighter,” Schwarzkopf said of his opponent. “But we will see if he’s really a warrior like Eubank Sr. I’m the same warrior as him [Sr]. The small Eubank, is he so strong? I will test everything in his body and his head. I’m very experienced, 14 years as a professional and I’ve seen a lot in life. This is a good fight, but I come here to win. I’m not coming here for the show. I want this fight and I’ve waited a long time for it.”
Schwarzkopf frustratingly concluded saying he was willing to die in the ring, while Eubank Sr confirmed it would be Harlem’s final fight at super-lightweight.
“This is his last fight at 140,” Sr added. “The easier part of this project is Timo because he [Harlem]’s got 10lbs to lose. It makes me emotional. Do you know how hard it is to lose 10lbs when you don’t have an ounce of fat on you?”
Harlem is hoping to put on a show for his hometown fans in Brighton.
“You will see a beautiful performance and display, the art form I’ve been learning for the last 11 years, and [I’ll] bring it home for my people.”