Where does Eubank Jr go from here
It was supposed to be a thriller. A true 50/50 fight between a skilled champion and the younger, fresher contender hell bent on making light work of his foe. But for all the hype, for all of the challengers wise cracks and his father’s sometimes disturbing predictions. The first World Boxing Super Series Super Middleweight Semi Final flattered to deceive.
Manchester has always been one of if not the biggest fighting cities in the United Kingdom and some of Britain’s biggest boxing legends and even the WBA Champion himself have treated us to some memorable nights in years gone by.
In the end it seems as though as I’ve said before hype is one thing, but you MUST be able to write cheques with your mouth that your fists can cash. This was supposed to be the coming of ‘The Next Generation’. Chris Eubank Jr was supposed to overwhelm the battle worn champion, send him into retirement and buy him his boat in the process. Chris Eubank Sr feared for Groves safety, he prayed for Groves safety. Such was the convincing talk in the build-up that I too, a lifelong George Groves fan doubted that my man could get the job done. I was astonished that legions of fans abandoned reason that in a fight against a boxer and a fighter that the boxer should win.
Well Ladies and Gentlemen within the first 3 rounds of that fight George Groves raised a middle finger in the air to all that doubted him and paid back the theory that a boxer will always prevail over a puncher.
But as good a performance as it was from the champion, and make no mistake about it, it was. For me as a journalist and a pundit this fight reinforced that talk is cheap, to trust my instincts and not fall for the hype. And lastly, that quite frankly Chris Eubank Jr does not belong at the top level of boxing. If you listened to Eubank in the build up to this contest you were led to believe that we were on the verge of witnessing a revolution. When in actual practice what we witnessed was ‘The Next Generation’s’ bubble well and truly burst. George Groves was simply too technically proficient and experienced.
So where does the loser go from here? Well firstly I think Eubank Jr needs to learn a little humility. He blamed dirty tactics and a cut impairing his vision. Whilst Groves did hold and there were indeed head clashes, a lot of those came from the challenger lumbering his way to closing the distance. Trying to get his head on Groves’ chest and going to work. Groves himself has had to learn humility, he talked a big game in both of his losing efforts to Carl Froch, the latter left him staring up at the Wembley Sky.
Secondly, he needs to remove his father from his corner and surround himself with a team that will challenge him. A lot was made of the ‘PE Teacher’ in Groves corner, but a lot of Groves success was down to the game plan that was laid out in front of him by McGuigan. A loss is devastating for a fighter, but his father has made this loss so much worse because he was unable to back up the wild claims. Speaking of wild, a trainer would have been able to correct the wild swings the challenger attempted to throw. Im amazed its Groves shoulder that is dislocated and not Eubanks giving the ferocity he hit the air with throwing these wayward shots.
Lastly he needs to appreciate there are levels to boxing. Frankly as Prince Naseem Hamed pointed out last night. Eubank simply isn’t good enough, and I agree. If there is one thing Chris Eubank Jr should be praying for, it would be to give thanks that someone threw away the pen when talks of a Golovkin fight were mooted.
My final thoughts on the matter are this. I would implore The Eubanks to take heed of this advice. ‘It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt’
By: Aaron Cooper