Eubank Jr says super middleweight win vs Groves would silence doubters

AFP

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) - Chris Eubank Jr believes victory over George Groves in Saturday's all-British super middleweight world title bout would finally silence the doubters who say he has been living off his famous father's name.

The 28-year-old will still have more to do to equal the success and fame of Chris senior even if he captures Groves's WBA crown at the Manchester Arena in what promises to be a feisty affair after the defending champion labelled his opponent a "gimmick".

Chris senior -- a two-weight world champion in the 1990s -- still craves attention and is never far from his son's side. On Saturday he will be in the ring before the fight, also a semifinal of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS), an eight-man elimination tournament.

"This isn't about my old man, it's about me," said Eubank Jr. "These are the fights which make me my own entity.

"They separate me from anybody else, not just my father, which is what I've been striving for my entire career -- for people to see me as Chris Eubank, not Chris Eubank's son."

Eubank Jr (26 wins, 1 defeat, 20 knockouts) knows he will never escape comparisons with his father, who even trained at the same crumbling gym on England's southcoast that his son now uses with the same veteran trainer Ronnie Davies.

But it also a comparison that has helped Eubank Jr, who vaults over the ropes like his father used to before fights against the likes of Nigel Benn and Michael Watson.

"I have come to terms with that, even if I become the greatest fighter who ever lived it will always be like that," Eubank Jr said.

"We will always be compared because of how great he was. We have the same name and are in the same sport."

- Eubank Jr a "gimmick" -

Groves (27 wins, three defeats, 20 knockouts), from west London, calls Eubank "a gimmick" whose experience does not warrant the hype or British bookmakers having him as a slight favourite.

Eubank only stepped up from middleweight a year ago while Groves has had five world title fights, losing three. England's Carl Froch twice stopped Groves, who was then narrowly outpointed by Sweden’s Badou Jack in his third world title shot.

Eubank says his rival "knows how to lose" but Groves lifted the WBA belt with a stoppage win over Russia's Fedor Chudinov last May and, like Eubank, clinched his semifinal place with a clinical knockout against Britain's Jamie Cox.

"I've been there and almost lost it all, I've had to rebuild several times which is awful. I am not going to be able to do that again, so every fight could be my last," said the 29-year-old Groves, who makes a second defence and is trained by Shane McGuigan, the son of former world featherweight champion Barry McGuigan.

"Eubank's level of profile has far outweighed the level of competition that he has been in so far.

"Saturday is the day when he has to back up all the hoopla but I believe Saturday is the day when I end it."

The winner of the Groves-Eubank fight will progress to face either Britain's Callum Smith or Germany's Juergen Braehmer, who fight in the other WBSS semifinal in Germany on February 24.

What to Read Next