Home Columns Who is next for Chris Eubank Jr after beating Marcus Morrison?

Who is next for Chris Eubank Jr after beating Marcus Morrison?

Eubank Jr has Golovkin in his sights after beating Morrison on Saturday

Chris Eubank Jr alongside Promoter Kalle Sauerland (L) and trainer Roy Jones Jr (R) Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Chris Eubank Jr alongside Promoter Kalle Sauerland (L) and trainer Roy Jones Jr (R) Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

Chris Eubank Jr showed glimpses of the methodology of Roy Jones Jr during his return against Marcus Morrison on Saturday, as he looks to reach his potential this year.

Eubank Jr put on a convincing display against a game and tough Morrison, who more than held his own, but was ultimately beaten widely on the cards.

The Brighton man had his opponent hurt in the second round and pinned to the ropes, but instead of looking to close the show he opted instead to box his way to a ten round decision and bank the rounds in his first fight, since a two round win over Matt Korobov in December 2019 and under the tutelage of the former four-weight world champion.

Eubank Jr (30-2, 22 KOs) demonstrated his speed and accuracy, as he let his hands go with vigour in the mid-rounds, connecting to head and body and dare we say it, inheriting some of the flamboyant technique Jones Jr used to dazzle during his prime in the 1990s, with ‘NEXTGEN’ dropping his left hand low and showing improved, fast footwork and bobbing and weaving in and out of range.

The 31-year-old is on the cusp of a world title fight with a #1 ranking with the WBA where Ryota Murata is the ‘Super’ champion and Erislandy Lara holds the ‘Regular’ belt.

Eubank Jr has a wealth of options at stake, but who will he face next?

Eubank Jr battled past Marcus Morrison on Saturday Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Eubank Jr battled past Marcus Morrison on Saturday Photo Credit: Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing
Gennady Golovkin

Eubank Jr revealed his desire pre-fight for a showdown with IBF Middleweight champion, Gennady Golovkin and insisted it had to be made this year.

The pair reportedly came close to sealing a deal in 2016, but the Kazakh great instead fought Kell Brook, who moved up two weight classes and was stopped in five rounds.

Golovkin (41-1-1, 36 KOs) is in the twilight years of his career at 39-years-old and although past his prime, he remains a dangerous operator as shown in his brutal seventh round knockout over Kamil Szeremeta in December.

Eubank Jr is targeting a future fight with IBF champion Gennady Golovkin Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing
Eubank Jr is targeting a future fight with IBF champion Gennady Golovkin Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Melina Pizano/Matchroom Boxing

‘GGG’ is reportedly in discussions for a unification with Murata on December 31 in Japan, however a meeting with Eubank Jr would hold more commercial value with the Brit’s profile much bigger than the WBA champion’s.

 

Eubank Jr would be confident that his speed and youth would prove crucial at this stage of Golovkin’s career, but would arguably head into a clash as the underdog, with Golovkin’s vast experience advantage, having competed in 23 world title fights.

Ryota Murata

Ryota Murata is a logical move for Eubank Jr and presents him the opportunity to secure a world title.

WBA ‘Super’ titlist, Murata (16-2, 13 KOs) is the least well-known world champion, but has a target on his back with his belt and was elevated from ‘Regular’ champion in January, after Canelo Alvarez, who faces Billy Joe Saunders on Saturday, vacated the title.

The Japan native avenged both of his professional losses against Hassan N’Dam and Rob Brant to claim the WBA title on two occasions and as mentioned is reportedly in talks with Golovkin for a bout on New Years Eve.

Ryota Murata holds the WBA 'Super' Middleweight world title Photo Credit: REUTERS
Ryota Murata holds the WBA ‘Super’ Middleweight world title Photo Credit: REUTERS

Eubank Jr’s promoter Kalle Sauerland has expressed an interest in making a clash with the 35-year-old and with his high ranking a fight could foreseeably be ordered by the governing body before too long.

Murata, who is promoted by Top Rank should not be overlooked, however with an esteemed amateur pedigree which saw him claim Gold at the 2012 Olympics in the Middleweight division and in the professional ranks, 13 of his 16 wins have ended inside the distance.

Kell Brook

A potential showdown with Kell Brook is seemingly gaining more momentum, however unlikely it may have seemed.

The former IBF Welterweight world champion was stopped in four rounds in a bid to claim Terence Crawford’s WBO Welterweight crown in Las Vegas in November and is seemingly at the conclusion of a decorated career.

However, the 35-year-old has stated publicly his desire to face long-standing rival Amir Khan, suggesting he is not looking to hang up his gloves just yet.

Brook was beaten in four rounds by WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford in November Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images
Brook was beaten in four rounds by WBO Welterweight champion Terence Crawford in November Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank via Getty Images

The Sheffield man competed at Middleweight for his fight with Golovkin and has operated at 154lbs, which appears to be his natural weight class at this stage of his career, so a meeting with Eubank Jr could perhaps be made at a catchweight.

Eubank Jr said in an interview with IFLTV in January that he would be open to facing Brook as a “warm-up fight” and the ‘Special One’ appeared to respond on social media telling him to “get serious and we can 📞.”

Brook (39-3, 27 KOs) would arguably be his biggest fight domestically, with the pair both prominent names with the UK public and a fight could resonate beyond the hardcore contingent.

Although, it remains to be seen how much interest there actually is for a clash between them.

Liam Williams

Liam Williams is another enticing battle for Eubank Jr and a potential meeting has seemingly generated increased interest amongst the UK fans.

Williams (23-3-1, 18 KOs) is coming off a defeat to Demetrius Andrade in a brave attempt to claim the WBO Middleweight crown, where he climbed off the canvas in the second round to push the American to the limit in Florida, before succumbing to a unanimous decision defeat.

Liam Williams' stock rose in defeat to WBO Middleweight world champion, Demetrius Andrade Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Liam Williams’ stock rose in defeat to WBO Middleweight world champion, Demetrius Andrade Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

The Welshman’s stock has certainly risen, as a result of the grit and perseverance he demonstrated amid a disastrous start and with his all-action style it could make for an exciting affair.

The 28-year-old posted on social media after Eubank Jr’s win on Saturday that he would need to improve before facing him and the ‘Machine’ has consistently spoken of his desire to face ‘NEXTGEN.’

It remains to be seen which direction Williams goes after his defeat to Andrade, who said he would become a world champion in the future.

Demetrius Andrade

Demetrius Andrade is after unification clashes, but a clash with another Brit in Eubank Jr could be appealing if the fights he desires fail to materialise.

Andrade (30-0, 18 KOs) showed his slickness and class in stages during his win over Williams, but was perhaps caught more than he would have liked, as he secured a dominant fourth world title defence last month.

Promoter Eddie Hearn called for clashes with the likes of WBC champion, Jermall Charlo who defends his title against the little-known Juan Macias Montiel on June 19.

Andrade made a fourth successful defence of his WBO title and Promoter Eddie Hearn called for a unification Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom
Andrade made a fourth successful defence of his WBO title and Promoter Eddie Hearn called for a unification Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Hearn, who said ‘Boo Boo’ would be willing to fight on Charlo’s TV network FOX Sports, last week spoke of the possibility of making a fight with Eubank Jr.

The 33-year-old is believed to be the most naturally gifted 160 pounder and Eubank Jr would have to find a way of navigating through his awkward style, which 30 opponents thus far have failed to find a winning formula for.

For the Providence man it would likely be a lucrative option, particularly if it was staged in the UK where his profile is growing, however Eubank Jr is known in the USA with his fight with Korobov taking place in Brooklyn, meaning it could certainly be staged in Andrade’s backyard.

Sergiy Derevyanchenko

Sergiy Derevyanchenko is a name that hasn’t been brought into the conversation, but is a credible opponent.

The Ukrainian has challenged for the world Middleweight title three times against Daniel Jacobs, Gennady Golovkin and most recently for Jermall Charlo’s WBC belt, losing on a unanimous decision.

The 35-year-old has never been found wanting at the top level and was praised for his effort against Golovkin, where he rallied after being dropped with some believing he won the bout.

Derevyanchenko pushed Gennady Golovkin to the limit in October 2019 Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA
Derevyanchenko pushed Gennady Golovkin to the limit in October 2019 Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA

It would be a good benchmark for Eubank Jr and an opportunity to test himself against a fighter who has held his own with the champions of the division.

Derevyanchenko was beaten by WBC Middleweight world champion, Jermall Charlo in September Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott / Showtime
Derevyanchenko was beaten by WBC Middleweight world champion, Jermall Charlo in September Photo Credit: Amanda Westcott / Showtime

Derevyanchenko (13-3, 10 KOs) is another aggressive boxer and would fancy his chances of upsetting the Brit having fought the more established names at 160lbs.

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