Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
“Junior and Senior laid out their plan to unify the division in our discussions with them,” reveals new promoter Kalle Sauerland who explains the new direction they are taking to finally land Chris Eubank Jr a world championship
Last Updated: 17/01/21 6:59am
Chris Eubank Jr plans to lure Gennadiy Golovkin into a world middleweight championship fight in the UK, his new promoter Kalle Sauerland revealed.
Eubank Jr intends to relaunch his career in Britain and has tasked his new promoters with delivering a mouth-watering world title opportunity.
“Golovkin is the No 1 target. GGG is a legend but he’s there for the taking,” Sauerland told Sky Sports about the reigning IBF champion.
“This is the right time to make the fight. It’s a great fight.
“It’s a fight you could do in the UK. Golovkin has fought here before [against Kell Brook in 2016].
“In normal times the logical place to make this fight would be the UK, maybe at Brighton’s football stadium [in Eubank Jr’s home city].
“The timing is now right. Golovkin is at the top of our list.”
Eubank Jr was an early option to be Golovkin’s opponent five years ago, before the power-punching Kazakh eventually knocked out Brook in London.
Eubank Jr told Sky Sports last year about Golovkin: “I know I can beat him. I know that I have the tools and the style to take this guy out.
“My speed, my tenacity? I don’t think he would be able to deal with it.
“Because of my style, I would stop him due to the pure amount of punches. Whether it’s a cut or he gets tired, stopping him would definitely be on the cards.”
It is two years since the standout victory of Eubank Jr’s career and, since then, he has had just a single round of in-ring action.
In February 2019 he beat James DeGale in a grudge match then, a year ago, he beat Matt Korobov on his US debut to pick up the WBA interim title.
Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez held the full WBA title but moved up a division to beat Callum Smith, leaving Eubank Jr as the odd-man-out.
He sat out the entirety of 2020 although spent the year fine-tuning his skills with boxing legend Roy Jones Jr as his trainer in Florida, a relationship which the Sauerlands say could continue despite Eubank Jr’s new plan to fight in Britain again.
“He feels that he wants to box in the UK again,” Sauerland said.
“He’s 31 years old, at a stage where it’s about building on the wins that he has had. He needs to seize the moment.
“He needs to get out quick in a tune-up before going against the bigger names.
“I expect him out around Easter then again in the summer.
“The plan is to box in the UK but, with the pandemic, we will look at other countries. But our focus is on the UK.”
How the deal came together
Eubank Jr’s father, who had taken a step back from being in his son’s corner over the most recent few fights, had an instrumental role.
“Let me look at the list,” Sauerland jokes about Eubank Sr’s requests.
“Senior is the driving force in Junior’s life and career. We must not forget Senior is a boxing legend who fought the best and he expects his son to do the same.
“Junior and Senior laid out their plan to unify the division in our discussions with them.
“This is Junior’s career and Senior totally respects that. But Senior brings ideas from his own career – he is a positive light for Junior.”
The relationship between the Eubanks and the Sauerlands was already strong after Eubank Jr’s involvement in the World Boxing Super Series, the tournament that the Sauerlands promoted in 2018 which Callum Smith eventually won.
Eubank Jr knocked out Avni Yildirim in Germany but lost to George Groves in the semi-final.
Now Sauerland insists they have signed one of British boxing’s hottest commodities: “He is a top five UK name. Look at his social media following or the reaction his name causes.
“He is Marmite, not everyone loves him!
“He may hang out with superstars but you won’t find a harder working boxer. He has a winner’s attitude.
“He is not an Instagram boxer, he is the real deal.
“Team Sauerland have always thrown curveballs. We signed George Groves days before the Wembley showdown against Carl Froch. We worked with David Haye too.
“We have had success with UK names and excitement is what Eubank Jr brings. He splits opinion down the middle in a similar way to his father.
“He has fantastic physical attributes and boxing attributes that are still improving – you saw him take out James DeGale spectacularly and that is something to build on.”
A crucial two-year period
The feeling is that Eubank Jr must be hasty to take advantage of the biggest opportunities that still exist.
He has name-checked Ryota Murata, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade and Golovkin because they each hold versions of the middleweight belts but a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders, who ended the unbeaten start to Eubank Jr’s career in 2014, has long been mooted.
“Murata would also be a great fight,” said Sauerland. “He is a massive name in Japan. Style-wise Eubank Jr vs Murata would be great.
“We promoted Naoya Inoue in Japan so have a taste for how they promote.
“[WBO super-middleweight champion] Saunders, down the road, could happen again. Everybody would love to see this again but, for now, we are focused on the middleweights.
“He wants to clean out the division and is focusing on 160lbs, his best weight.”
“He is raring to go so it’s time to fire up the engines.”