Controversy, should it ever gain popularity as a middle name, must be given to any offspring of Chris Eubank, JR., 24-1,19 KO’s. The family court it and after the weekend they are on a major collision course with anyone in their way over what will be their next step in their mesmeric journey to … well where are they going?
You may well ask …
Actually, we are all asking …
Having dispatched with a brave – certainly, resolute – debatably, and limited – absolutely, Renold Quinlan, 11-2, 7 KO’s, they are now calling out James DeGale, 23-1-1, 14 KO’s. Apparently, they have referred to this in interviews and on Twitter and whilst the POTUS may conduct his business and commentary on world affairs through social media, the boxing world takes little notice of those unable to pick up a phone.
According to English, the father, that phone should have been lifted on the Monday following his son’s rise to the title of IBO world champion (RSR doesn’t recognize!). Well, Junior is back in the gym and he is getting ready for DeGale; don’t think Chunky is getting ready for him though…
The pay per view figures are yet to appear and when English was asked about them before the fight he was very circumspect about them as he was “not an accountant”. Of course, it is the money makers and the bean counters who will pour over the contracts and the number of contacts made that paid out cash for the privilege of viewing the ascension of Junior.
It was nearly a massive failure as people struggled to get the pictures after shelling out their hard-earned cash. Many who had bought the fight through Sky took to social media to vent their fury over the lack of pictures. ITV blamed a delay in coverage that was soon sorted out and have agreed not to charge significant numbers apparently. Noticeably the Virgin and ITV platforms did not suffer the same problems as the Sky ones did.
But those figures need to be robust because If they don’t add up then the Eubanks get no more than a hill of beans. What they need, more than anything is a big fight, a money maker; a blockbuster.
Problem 1 – any fighter in the UK is likely to fight anywhere BUT ITV pay per view.
TV rights for fights cost. Who is going to abandon a big money platform like Sky or Box nation and jump to any circus run by or even influenced by English?
Problem 2 – who in the UK?
Let us begin with the daft notion that James DeGale will be totally overwhelmed by the whole opportunity of putting his IBF title alongside the mighty IBO (Can you sense the sarcasm?) one in a showdown in the UK. DeGale is a Matchroom kid and a Sky fighter. Badou Jack/James DeGale was NOT a PPV fight in the UK and there is no way a DeGale/Eubank, JR. fight would manage box office figures at this stage.
Of course, we are waiting to hear how well or how poorly this PPV event with Eubank, JR. went. If it was massive, expect the crowing of an English gent; if it did poorly, the poor people in charge of marketing shall be blamed. It was them that took the flak when Quinlan threatened to pull out in the run up to the fight over a distinct lack of any promotion.
There is then, the rematch with Billy Joe Saunders, 24-0, 12 KO’s, that most of us would love to happen. Saunders last fought in Paisley in Scotland in a very disappointing small hall for a world champion. The undefeated WBO champion is not getting big numbers but a rematch would truly light a fire, but the WBO have ordered a mandatory.
Problem 3 – promises, promises, turn to dust
DeGale and Saunders are poor fair in comparison with the “GGG” fight or a showdown with the man who would be allegedly destroyed by Junior, according to English – Andre Ward. There was even talk at one point of Daniel Jacobs, but Jacobs has actually found a pen and signed to fight “GGG” next at middleweight.
The middleweight domestic scene could see Brian Rose?
Up at his new weight, where his father has picked DeGale, could it be George Groves? Arthur Abraham? Felix Sturm? Callum Smith? Fedor Chudinov? They are all on the IBO top 10 computerised list, as is the guy who called him out on the night that he won – Martin Murray?
It is likely that we shall see a number of IBO defenses against some of their computerized top 10… I reckon next up may either be Jesse Hart or Avni Yildirim as names like Groves, Smith, Direll (both of them), Sturm, Abraham, Chavez, JR. and Chudinov shall pass. A couple of defences in 2017 and a big fight in 2018 will probably be the way forward…
Right now, though the controversy which included the revelation that the father had asked for a fee to attend his former manager, Barry Hearn’s, 70th birthday party has been eclipsed. It has now had added to the mix, the revelation by his former promoter, Frank Warren, that when Eubank, SR. attended an event to raise money for Michael Watson, he didn’t pay. This is in the middle of Eubank, SR. claiming that HE is the guy who fights for the rights of fighters.
English has challenged BOTH Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren to a sit-down confrontation on all of the above accusations and to confront their collective pasts. Warren has said he would love to but is fed up talking about the Eubanks. Eddie, and Barry, would also love the sit down but this is one fight that we would all love to see but it is simply unlikely to happen. The smart money is that the son will be doing the fighting as this rumbles on, adds to the debate and leaves us hoping that DeGale and Callum Smith get in the ring so we can see competitive boxing on British shores at this weight category and not mismatches and wild claims like this weekend has brought in bucket loads.Contact the Feature Writers