The Fight the UK Wanted: Eubank Jr. vs. Saunders Is on


eubanks-007It can sometimes seem that with each day that passes in this sport we are hooked on like fiends, those special moments; the great match ups, become more fleeting and distant. Egos penetrate negotiations, the precious ‘0’ sits within a fighters record akin to a restrictive shackle. Various factors contribute to clashes falling through the fans fingers like sand, and these said reasons seem more prevalent as the sport of boxing ages.

Sometimes though, we are caught off guard; the sport does good, really good. The fight I didn’t expect to see materialize for another couple of years, will be upon us in but a few short months. Two fighters whose professional careers I’ve watched from the start like an owl, every punch they’ve thrown, enjoyed, scrutinized and analysed. I’ve been witness to styles evolving, imperfections worked over, creases pulled out, as both these young men have grown into two of my favourite fighters.

Billy Joe Saunders 20-(11)-0 vs Chris Eubank Jr. 17-(12)-0 for the European Middleweight title which Saunders holds proud. November the 29th Thank the gods…

Eubank Jr. of course, the son of the highly respected former super middleweight champion, Chris Eubank. Senior’s figure often that of the wise sage in his corner, whispering forbidden codes, mystic magical recipes to his son, just out of microphone shot mind. Or simply standing alongside young Eubank, in a sometimes absurd regal posture, as if the opponent should bow before them in gratitude, blessed to share the same ring with the royal duo.

You have to watch this, to actually believe it’s happening, not to mention the infamous camera glares from Jr., a direct rubbing of his father’s entertaining stuff, silly and brilliant.

His initial baby steps within the squared circle compared to the unrelenting puncher we see today, a contrast so stark it’s almost like watching a different fighter completely. A fighter who initially seemed a little too comfortable to happily take punches clean, forcing the pace of a fight with the eager enthusiasm that perhaps being the son of a UK Boxing legend would encourage.

Eubank Jr improved, notably in his last few outings, the movements more primal, almost feline in nature. The speed and genuine ill intent with each superb combination thrown, almost unkind. He is improving, at a rate that seems to hint toward, the possible glimmerings piercing through the coal of something really special. Of course the criticism being, naturally at this stage, he just hasn’t fought anyone to accurately gauge his current skill level, this is what makes the fight tender and succulent. He hasn’t even fought for the Area, English or British title before this European shot, but when opportunity comes a knockin’…

Billy Joe Saunders is technically really under rated, great hand speed, and has his fundamentals nailed down. He has the ability to sniper opponents callously from the outside with little or no remorse and the speed of hand to be the victor if there’s a fire fight within close quarters. A persistent hand injury has hampered some of his performances. Also fairly close fights when he has come up against a higher level of opposition Ryder, Blackwell, Blandamura (who he stopped) has raised the question, is Billy already close to his ceiling? I don’t think he is, but the questions remain, so I document them.

No pick I make is official until it’s made at my YouTube channel Wingy Boxing, just as a disclaimer! However right now, I edge toward Saunders, as I always have done when dreaming of the day this match up would become reality. His skills, grit, solid chin, and to be honest, experience and overlooked boxing brain pull me, resisting with both hands from the ever attractive lure of the exciting knockouts the talented Eubank Jr. exhibits (when facing opposition several leagues below him).

However, my opinion can, and possibly will change before November the 29th. For those outside of our glistening shores who may not be aware of these two, now is the time to do your research, for the boxing gods have blessed us with nourishing sweet Manna, we should feast and be thankful.

I should add, these two genuinely have little love lost between then, expect fun and games at the build up. I have visions of a mass of bodies attempting to drive a wedge between the two, scales flying, and promoters falling over.

There’s also the small matter of a Fury and Chisora rematch afterwards on the same bill.

Well done Mr. Warren, now let’s hope no one pulls out.


© Wingy 2014