Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Rivals confident ahead of crucial bout

We are just three days away from the blockbuster all-British middleweight showdown between bitter rivals, Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr., which will be contested at the Excel Arena in London.

The hotly anticipated British, Commonwealth and European title clash will act as chief support to Dereck Chisora's heavyweight rematch with the effervescent Tyson Fury, although the smaller men seem to have captured the publics imagination and dwarfed the main event behemoths.

The feuding duo have traded vicious verbal blows on a regular basis for longer than a year, with the champion, Saunders, freely admitting his feelings of contempt for his precocious counterpart.

The 25-year-old Saunders, 20(11)-0, has frequently resorted to vile personal insults in a bid to lure the Brighton resident into a fight and on Saturday night in the nation's capital, the former Olympian's wish will come to fruition live on Boxnation.

With a full training camp at the famous Macklin's Gym in Marbella under his belt, southpaw Saunders is supremely confident of handing a maiden loss to the much talked about son-of-a-legend, and he has boldly promised to retire from the noble art if he finds himself at the wrong end of defeat on fight night.

"If I don't beat him, I'll retire." Exclaimed Saunders at a pre-fight press conference.

"The boxing world seems to be split down the middle deciding who is going to win between us. I can't see the reason why because for me it's a clear cut victory for me, but everyone will see why this Saturday."

There is on old saying in the hurt business, "boxing is about levels." 

On paper, Saunders is a level above Eubank. He has faced the stronger opposition and he has more experience in both the amateur and professional codes. Eight times the Jimmy Tibbs trained slickster has been involved in 12 round bouts and he has boxed all the way to the final bell on five occasions. 

The travellers last three foes; Gary O'Sullivan, John Ryder and Emmanuelle Blandamura respectively, held a combined record of 53(24)-0, yet the Lord Lonsdale belt holder found a way to have his arm raised every time.

Eubank, the eldest son of legendary former WBO middleweight and super middleweight champion of the same name, is yet to complete 12 rounds. In actual fact, the 18(13)-0 puncher has only been involved in a solitary contest that was scheduled for ten rounds, when he knocked out Ivan Jukic in the opening session.

Although the rising star had a limited 26 fight amateur career, and taking into account that he is yet to enter deep waters in the paid ranks, a host of respected boxing trainers and fighters including Adam Booth and Carl Froch have confirmed that Eubank is indeed the real deal.

Tales of successful sparring sessions with the likes of the aforementioned Froch, who is the IBF and WBA 'Regular' champion of the world at 168-pounds, George Groves and Nathan Cleverly clearly suggest that the heavy handed showman is no novice inside the squared circle. 

Many fans have suggested that Eubank doesn't stand a chance due to his lack of experience at the championship level. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that Chris Sr. hadn't faced the sternest of tests before dethroning Nigel Benn in 1990. Just because a man hasn't done something, doesn't necessarily mean that he is incapable of doing so.

Whilst acknowledging that the man he dubbed 'Average Joe' is a step up in competition from anybody he has faced to date, the challenger will step through the ropes on the back of ten consecutive crushing knockout victories and he expects to destroy the champion in much the same manner. 

"I know it's a step up, but as far as me saying it's going to be a tough fight - I don't believe it will be. I believe I've got everything I need to take this guy out in devastating fashion." Eubank told BoxTalk.

If the British, Commonwealth and European titles weren't enough incentive for the pair during their training camps, the fight has also been recognised as an official eliminator for the WBO middleweight crown. The winner is likely to land a date with either Andy Lee or Matt Korobov, who will clash for the vacant belt in December.

Middleweight is a talent packed division domestically, as well as internationally, and the loser will still have enticing options in the future.