Callum Smith believes Chris Eubank Jr “lacks the natural ability” to compete with the elite.
Eubank Jr has two defeats on his slate to Billy Joe Saunders, which he lost on a split decision and to George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series Final in 2018, with Smith stopping Groves in the final.
The 31-year-old is unbeaten in three since the reverse to Groves, including a career-best victory over James De Gale in February 2019, however Smith, who was beaten for the first time as a professional by Canelo Alvarez in December expects his rival to fall short at the top level.
“He can get in the mix because his name always brings a lot,” Smith told Sky Sports.
“He carries his dad’s name so he has a big profile.
“He talks a good fight so will always talk himself into big fights.
“But as we’ve seen in the Billy Joe Saunders fight and the Groves fight, when he steps up to the highest level his lack of boxing ability seems to let him down.
“He is very fit, athletic, strong. He’s a better middleweight than he is a super-middleweight.
“But at the very top level he lacks the natural ability to beat the top guys.
“He will always be in a position to be in those fights. But I don’t see him beating any of the top ones.”
Eubank Jr holds the WBA Interim Middleweight title, which he claimed in his last bout against Matt Korobov in December 2019 and is targeting the world champions, including IBF holder Gennady Golovkin and WBC titlist Jermall Charlo, after linking up with Team Sauerland.
“I’ve spent the last 12 months in the gym and I feel better than ever. I’m ready to take over the Middleweight division,” the 31-year-old said on signing with Team Sauerland.
“I want all the champions – Murata, Charlo, Andrade, Golovkin – put me in the ring with any of them. I only want to fight the best. This is my time.
“If you have a belt, I’m coming for you.”
Former WBA ‘Super’ and Ring Magazine Super Middleweight champion, Smith has revealed that he could pursue a second world title at Light Heavyweight, when he makes his return.
“The opportunity to be a two-weight world champion is something I always wanted,” the 30-year-old told Sky Sports.
“I believe that I’m big enough and good enough.”