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Boxing: Tale of the Tape with Chris Eubank Jr

Chris Eubank Jr has described his opponent Liam Williams as a ‘dead man walking’ ahead of their eagerly-anticipated fight on 5th February.

The two have made no secret of their dislike for each other, dating back to a sparring session between Eubank Jr and Williams, which has carried through to the present day, and ‘Next Gen’, speaking to Johnny Nelson for bet365’s Tale of the Tape, has promised to ‘punish’ the Welshman.

“The levels of what he’s said online are more than any other fighter has and he’s made it personal with the things he’s said. I don’t disrespect fighters, I only disrespect fighters who disrespect me otherwise it’s all business.

“I don’t have an issue with anyone. 99% of the fighters I’ve ever fought in my career I can happily break bread with them after the fight. Liam Williams is not one of those guys. He is the 1% that has done things and said things where I can never be okay with him. He’s now in a position where he’s going to have to pay. He’s a dead man walking. He knows what’s coming.

Asked about his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses and whether or not he rates Williams, Eubank gave a resounding ‘no’.

“Strengths: He can type really well on Twitter, that’s about it,” said Eubank Jr. “Weaknesses: There are too many to list.”

Should Eubank Jr get the win in Cardiff, he’ll be looking for a title fight with Gennady Golovkin, and wants to meet him in the ring in 2022.

“I don’t see why it can’t happen this year. It’s a fight that’s eluded me for a long time now. He was supposed to fight Ryota Murata, but that’s fallen through with Murata being in Japan. He needs to fight. He has a world title, who else is he going to fight? Who else is there that the fans are going to want to see? I’m the number one guy, so that’s the fight we’re looking to make as soon as we dispatch of Williams.”

Eubank Jr’s cousin Harlem Eubank will fight on the undercard in Cardiff and is currently being trained by Adam Booth, who happens to also be in the corner for Williams, and Eubank Jr says his cousin should consider making a switch.

“Harlem is a good fighter and he’s got a lot of potential,” said Eubank Jr. “He needs to be busier. I had a lot more fights than he had when I was his age, they need to get him moving, but he’s got all the potential to be a great fighter. The fact that Adam Booth is now training an opponent of mine says a lot about Adam.

“I just feel bad for my cousin. It doesn’t affect me in any way but it shows that he doesn’t care about Harlem in my opinion. If he had any respect or care for Harlem, how could he accept to train the guy that’s going to fight his close cousin? It just doesn’t make sense to me. Harlem should take that into consideration moving forward I think.”

Eubank Jr first entered the public eye when his father starred in a documentary with Louis Theroux, before At Home with the Eubanks aired a year later. Eubank said he wouldn’t let his son follow him into the ring, but Junior explained how persistence eventually paid off.

“Me pestering him for a couple of years definitely gave him the incentive to just let me in the gym,” said Eubank Jr. “I wouldn’t leave him alone and I think the final straw was when Lennox Lewis said to him ‘you’ve got to let him try it’.

“He came to the house and said not letting your son box because you’re scared he’ll get hurt is like saying they don’t want their kid to drive because they’re scared they’ll get in a car crash and within a week or so I was in the gym.”

“It definitely gave me an advantage or an exposure to that lifestyle. It takes balls to sit in front of a camera and talk with confidence and to talk well. Some guys just can’t do it, a lot of fighters don’t have that personality in front of a camera.

“They can fight because that’s all they do every day but when it comes to talking or presenting themselves in a certain way they don’t have much to say or they don’t know how to say it, whereas I was on a TV show at 11, 12 years old so ‘lights, camera, action’ has been a part of my life for a long time.”

Nelson suggested that from the outside, there was a perception that Eubank Jr was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, afforded the luxury of living off his dad’s name, but ‘Next Gen’ denied there was any resentment in the early stage of his career.

“Not in the amateurs,” said Eubank Jr. “In the amateurs, everyone’s just learning their craft, they’re getting involved in the fight game, they’re fighting and they want to be the best. I think the resentment came in the pros, which I get. I’m fighting my first fight on Channel 5 as a debut pro in front of two million viewers on terrestrial TV, it’s going to get some people’s backs up, I get it, but what do you want me to do? I’m born with the name.

“It fuelled me, people saying I didn’t deserve to be in the position I was in. Okay, let me show you, let me go out there and take these guys out and prove you wrong, and that’s what I did and after a while people saw it wasn’t just the name why I was in the positions I was in, I could fight.

“The beginning stages of my career he was heavily involved, now that I’m older, I’ve been through it, I’ve done it, I know what is needed of me, I know what it takes so I’m a lot more independent now.

“Obviously my father’s still very close to me and still a big part of what I do but I’m front and centre now. Not that I wasn’t before but it’s not so much a double act any more. I have to do it on my own and stand on my own two feet and he respects that.

“I only had 26 amateur fights, and I believe my father had the same amount which is pretty crazy. I tried to fight as much as I could. Did the amateurs suit me? No. My fighting style was always professional.

“I didn’t like the three rounds. I liked figuring a guy out over a longer distance, usually it’d take me two or three rounds to figure what a guy is. Three rounds I never really enjoyed, I wanted to be in the ring as long as I could.

“I went to the states at a young age to Las Vegas, Top Rank gym and I was sparring pros three times a week every week for years. Those were my amateur fights, those sparring sessions and those prepared me for when I started my actual amateur career.

“I won the Nevada State Golden Gloves within my first five fights, won the western regionals, beat the top guy from Arizona and Washington then went to the nationals in my first 10 fights. The reason I was able to do that was because of the spars I’d had with professionals for so many years.”

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