Chris Eubank Jr. claimed redemption this past weekend with a dominating and controlling performance against Liam Smith to right the wrongs from his torrid night against Smith back in January.
Having succumbed to a fourth-round stoppage, Eubank Jr. reversed the tables and scored two knockdowns in rounds four and ten, respectively, before referee Kevin Parker halted the contest after 1:45 of the tenth round.
Seemingly on reflection, Eubank Jr. can now progress past his saga with Smith and pursue bigger and better things rather than entertain another rematch with his Liverpudlian domestic rival. The former British middleweight champion and WBSS has seemingly restored his standing within British boxing and remains one of the sport’s biggest draws on British shores.
Eubank jr will not be short of options and directions regarding the near future of the 33-year-old, with Eubank Jr. also revealing his preferred list of opponents he wishes to jump into the ring with.
A long-awaited encounter with his ‘Born Rival’ Conor Benn will almost certainly be presented to Eubank Jr due to their previous bout, which was slated for October last year collapsing due to anti-doping issues on behalf of Benn for the substance Clomiphene. Benn was eventually suspended by the UK anti-doping authorities and the BBBofC and was recently cleared to return by the UK’s independent anti-doping panel to resume his career. However, this decision has since been appealed by UKAD and the BBBofC.
However, if the appeal fails by the relevant authorities, the prospect of Eubank Jr. vs. Benn becomes increasingly more likely. No love is lost between the pair, with their rivalry stemming from their respective father’s rivalry against each other, which is now part of British boxing’s folklore.
Since coming back into the public light, Benn has made it his intention to step in the ring with Eubank Jr. if the opportunity is presented to him and is confident that he could defeat Chris via knockout inside four rounds.
Furthermore, Benn was also mentioned by Eubank jr immediately post-fight as someone he would like to face soon.
Considering the recent history of both fighters, it would be an entertaining build-up and would easily be the pair’s most lucrative option financially.
Eubank Jr also mentioned Kell Brook immediately post-fight as a possible future foe. The pair have exchanged words towards each other and, as a whole, are not the best of friends. The main stumbling block would be that Brook announced his retirement following his victory over career-length rival Amir Khan. Furthermore, Brook has admitted to struggling with retirement, which has impacted his mental health alongside a public expose where he was captured on video taking cocaine, which prompted concern for his wellbeing.
Trainer Dominic Ingle, in recent interviews, has confirmed that Brook is still training at the famous Wincobank bank gym in Sheffield and has had discussions with former promoter Eddie Hearn earlier this year. Ultimately, it is unclear if Brook will decide to return to the ring or not.
Euabnk Jr also threw Gennady Golovkin’s name into the wish list immediately post-fight. Famously, Eubank Jr. refused to sign a deal to fight Golovkin back in 2016, and ultimately, the opportunity to face the then-premier middleweight in the world went to Kell Brook.
Golovkin is now definitely in the twilight of his career and, now aged 41, vacated all of his middleweight world titles over the previous twelve months and has taken a back seat from fighting. It is unclear if Golovkin if or when Golovkin will return to the ring, but it has been speculated that Gennady may be interested in returning to the ring in his home nation of Kazakhstan. Ultimately, despite his age, Eubank Jr needs Golovkin more than Golovkin needs Eubank Jr.
Winner of Janibek-Gualtieri
Chris Eubank Jr, if he seeks to pursue a world title opportunity, could very well find himself as an attractive proposition to face the winner of the upcoming world middleweight unification between the unbeaten duo of Janibek Alimkhanuly (14-0, 9 KOs) and Vincenzo Gualtieri (21-0-1, 7 KOs). The pair will go head to head on October 14th in Fort Worth, Texas.
The respective WBO (Janibek) & IBF (Gualtieri) world champions lack that stand-out big profile name on their records, which would elevate both fighters standing within the division. Eubank Jr could hand them that key and, despite being the challenger to either fighter, would hold much more financially sway than either champion and potentially secure a world title opportunity on British soil.
Liam Smith Rematch
Eubank Jr. could find himself in a position where he finds Liam Smith again in the opposing corner. Each fighter has one win apiece against each other, both by stoppage. Promoter Ben Shalom may wish to pursue a trilogy for the pair, but due to the uncompetitive nature of the re-run last weekend, it would not be an appealing prospect to the boxing industry and fans of the sport. Smith admitted that he did have issues making the 160lb contracted weight limit predominantly due to returning to training following a back injury and having to cut a lot of weight in a condensed time frame.