Chris Eubank Jr challenges for the IBO world supermiddleweight championship on February 4th against the Australian world champion Renold Quinlan at the London Olympia live on ITV pay per view.
Showmanship. Its a quality defined by skill at entertaining, theatrical presentation, or performance. There are few current boxers who bring it with them to the ring like Eubank Jr and it only serves to fuel a strong opinion on the fighter either way. He splits opinions and whether you like him or loathe him you will tune in to watch him. Or will you?
Boxing fans, press, promoters, trainers and fighters across the sport seem to be in agreement on one thing at least; that this is simply not a pay per view worthy fight, and it’s a struggle to see it from any other viewpoint. ITV PPV will have to hope people have been sleeping on Quinlan and that he comes and delivers a good display in order to please those who do tune in.
This is no exercise in knocking Eubank Jr. He is a brilliant fighter. He is a world level fighter now and has certainly proved he is too good for domestic competition and it’s now time to see him get into the elite mix.
Too see him linked with Golovkin for so long then find him fighting an unknown fighter for a belt which is not universally recognised is dissappointing for the boxing fans but realistically his team probably never had real intentions of matching him with the Kazakh wrecking machine this early in his career.
That’s not to say he won’t eventually share a ring with him but he needs to get some world level names on his fight record. Billy Joe Saunders is the only name who is currently in the world mix but he lost that fight.
He is now fighting a fighter with a 10-1 record who has never boxed outside Australia. The IBO belt has essentially validated Quinlan as worthy prey despite the fact that Eubank Jr pulled out of the British title fight against Tommy Langford supposedly because he was worried about hurting his opponent badly beyond repair.
Whilst I agree that Eubank would likely of stopped the undefeated then 17-0 Langford, he very arguably represented a tougher challenge than the man who he will now face in Renold Quinlan.
Without wanting to be disrespectful to Quinlan he simply has not got anyone on his record other than an aging Daniel Geale who had moved up to the 168lbs division from middleweight after being knocked out by Miguel Cotto who, despite being a legend of the sport, is not a career middleweight himself having predominantly operated in the welterweight divisions.
The Geale win shows that he has something about him. However if Eubank has done his due dilligence I would fully expect him to win this fight by stoppage. He is approaching his prime years now and the step up in weight will not be a problem for him as he is naturally big at middleweight. The likes of Carl Froch has attested to just how physically strong Eubank Jr is, after their numerous rounds of sparring.
If Eubank blows him out the water early on the fight could be branded farcicle which would only damage the sports appeal to the wider audience. Eubank struggles with slick boxers who move their feet well and have a good jab but I cannot say that Quinlan possesses these attibutes to the required level to beat Eubank. Hopefully Renold is durable enough and fit enough to compete in the exchanges and make it into a two way tango but I can only see one winner here.