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Chris Eubank Jr. talks fighting for IBO title, Golovkin, and Saunders

Eubank Jr. talks about wanting to take over the middleweight and super middleweight divisions.

Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

In this lengthy interview with iFL TV, Chris Eubank Jr. talks about his upcoming move to super middleweight to vie for the IBO title and his intentions of moving between 160 and 168lbs to run both divisions. Meanwhile he says he’s still targeting fights against Gennady Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders. Check out some excerpts below.

On challenging for the super middleweight IBO title on ITV PPV:

“It’s a great opportunity. It’s a huge opportunity to fight for my first world title on such a huge TV station. I couldn’t ask for anything more. The opportunity is in front of me, yes, it’s at super middleweight, obviously my previous fights have been at middleweight but I can mix it in both weight divisions. And that is the goal, it’s not to now stay at super middleweight, the goal is to win this world title and then gun for anybody at the middleweight and super middleweight division who has a world title. We’re gonna get the ball rolling in early 2017 and then start taking over both of the divisions after that.”

On firing back at critics who say the IBO title isn’t a recognized world title:

“I didn’t feel I had to, I just wanted to. I like giving it back a little bit to my army of haters that like to get on me about pretty much everything I do, and I shut quite a few people up. Obviously you got the people who keep at it but you can’t deny when you see pictures of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Golovkin, all holding this belt I’m going to be fighting for. What can you tell me? You can’t tell me anything. So that’s why I did it.”

On the feedback he’s been getting about this fight being on ITV PPV:

“Listen, the boxing public always responds with mixed emotion when it comes to pay-per-view. Everyone would like to watch a free fight, so whenever they have to pay for something it’s a bit like ‘ahhh,’ so in that sense some people weren’t happy with it. But at the end of the day, I’m one of the most exciting fighters in Britain. Why shouldn’t I fight on pay-per-view...

“It’s a great opportunity and boxing is a business - I’m not doing this for nothing. I’m doing it so that I can have a future.”

On why his proposed fight with Gennady Golovkin didn’t happen:

“Eddie [Hearn] saw an easy way out. He saw a way to make things easier for himself by giving the fight away to Kell [Brook]. We we in negotiations, we were negotiating everything for the fight and we were close to getting it completely done but we’re not rollovers, we’re not just going to accept everything you tell us. We’re not yes-men. We’re fighters and we’re gonna take what we deserve, whereas obviously Kell was like ‘listen, yes’ to everything that Eddie wanted...

“People ask me was I was upset, was I was pissed off - it was a missed opportunity but at the same time everything happens for a reason and that fight is still there to be made. It will still happen, and I believe it will happen in 2017.”

On why he’s moving up to super middleweight:

“We saw an opportunity to fight this IBO super middleweight world champion [Renold Quinlan] and we thought ‘why not,’ it’s not middleweight but it’s a world title, it’s a huge thing to bring that title back to England. People are gonna want to see that. This guy’s game, he’s ready to come over and defend his title in a foreign country against one of the best fighters in the world. That says a lot about that man and I respect that. I believe it’s gonna be a helluva fight.

“He knocked out Daniel Geale in his last performance so he’s not playing around. He’s got the world title and he’s not just gonna come over here and give it up. Any world champion wants to keep his world title belt...unless you’re Canelo Alvarez who doesn’t want to fight Golovkin, then you give it up, but this guy’s coming over here to defend his title with everything he’s got...”

On why a rematch with Billy Joe Saunders isn’t happening:

“Frank Warren, he’s a slippery guy, man. Everyone knows it. He’s slippery. He says one then and then does the complete opposite...He’s telling people ‘I will never work with the Eubanks again.’ And then he wins a purse bid for me to fight against [Tommy] Langford, to host the fight...You can’t take anything he says seriously...He’s been blocking it, he don’t want me going in there and beating up his boy, his golden boy. Well he’s not so golden anymore after his last fight but, who does Warren got? Saunders is his main guy as far as I know...

“He’s saying they offered us a million to fight Saunders, or whatever he said to fight Saunders. While he’s saying that, he’s in talks with the Boxing Board of Control about getting me fined for not fighting’s bollocks. He’s slippery, and that’s putting it lightly.”

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