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Dublin: 12 °C Thursday 24 May, 2018

Eubank Jr takes aim at Lee-Saunders winner after seeing off Spike

Former champion’s son wants to take down another Irish fighter

Eubank Jr (left) with his father
Eubank Jr (left) with his father
Image: Nick Potts

CHRIS EUBANK JR managed to silence the immediate world-title ambitions of one Irishman last weekend and now he wants to tear a world belt from the waist of another.

Eubank Jr, son of the former world champion, handed Cork’s Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan the second loss of his career last Saturday night after the latter was pulled out by his corner following seven rounds of their fight at London’s O2 Arena.

The 26-year-old Brighton native now has his sights set on a world-title shot and he is next in line to take on WBA belt holder Danny Jacobs, who holds a minor portion of the world crown, although Jacobs could yet be tied up with a rematch against Peter ‘Kid Chocolate’ Quillin, whom he defeated in devastating fashion two weeks ago.

And Eubank Jr is keen to keep his options open, with one eye on the winner of this weekend’s middleweight title showdown between Andy Lee and Billy Joe Saunders.

Limerick’s Lee defends his WBO world title against England’s Saunders at the Manchester Arena on Saturday and Eubank believes he is ready to take on the winner after his impressive win last weekend.

“I’m at world level. Saunders went 12 rounds with O’Sullivan and Saunders is fighting for a world title (against Lee), so I think that puts it into perspective,” said Eubank Jr.

I’m ready and willing to take any opportunity to fight for a world title, whether that’s against Jacobs or against the winner of the fight between Saunders and Lee.

“It really doesn’t matter to me as long as I’m in the position to fight for a world title,” he added.

Source: Chris Eubank Jr/YouTube

Eubank Jr (21-1) has only lost once in his pro career, with that defeat coming against Saunders in a European and British title fight last year.

Saunders has dismissed his rival’s claims that he is at world level, but Eubank claimed that his defeat over O’Sullivan was yet another example of his ability to silence his critics.

‘Spike’ had attempted to wind up the Brighton fighter in their build-up to their bout, with the Cork man planting a kiss on his foe at the weigh-in, but Eubank Jr delivered a dominant performance during the bout in retaliation.

Boxing - BBBofC and EBU Heavyweight Title - Dereck Chisora v Tyson Fury - ExCel Arena Eubank Jr (left) lost to Saunders on a split decision last year Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

“I’ve been dealing with haters and naysayers and disrespectful comments my entire career, from the day I turned pro. So I’m kind of immune to it now,” said Eubank Jr, who carries a lofty reputation thanks to the achievements of his father.

Saunders, Gary O’Sullivan, they’re not saying or doing anything I haven’t heard a million times before on Twitter, Facebook, social media.

“Once you’ve been exposed to certain things, it just doesn’t affect you. That’s why I didn’t lose my head at the weigh-in and why I didn’t lose my head in the fight,” added Eubank Jr.

Andy Lee: ‘I have the title – the pressure is all on Billy Joe to try and take it off me’

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Ciarán Gallagher

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