With a name like his expectations were always going to be high once Chris Eubank Junior laced up some gloves and became a professional boxer.
Next Gen, the 26-year-old Brighton man, has put in a number of impressive displays, including in his one and only defeat to Billy Joe Saunders back in 2014.
Junior (22-1-0, 16KO) has reeled off three impressive victories since that split decision loss in London, stopping Dmitry Chudinov, Tony Jeter and Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan inside the distance but the time has come for the son of Chris ‘English’ Eubank to step it up a gear.
Eubank Jr will fight for the British Middleweight title against Nick Blackwell (23-3-1, 8KO) at Wembley Arena this weekend and while he goes into the bout as the 1/6 favourite the Wiltshire man known as Bang Bang is not to be under-estimated.
The 25-year-old made his way to the professional ranks by way of White Collar Boxing but that didn’t stop him becoming the youngest ever English Middleweight champion and while he has been on the wrong end of a result on three occasions there are mitigating circumstances.
His first defeat came against Martin Murray, now a former British, Commonwealth, WBC Silver and WBA Interim Middleweight champion and with Blackwell’s record standing at 8-0 at the time many think the fight came too soon for him.
His second defeat came against Saunders and while Billie Joe’s class shone through he was taken the distance.
Blackwell’s third defeat is perhaps the most controversial of all with him losing a unanimous decision result against Max Bursak for the vacant WBA Continental title in Kharkiv, Ukraine with many in attendance beleiving he had done enough to win the fight..
This all goes to show that Blackwell is a canny and durable operator who could pose Eubank some serious problems if he struggles to find his rhythm.
With 16 KOs to his name already, however, Next Gen boasts the bigger punching power and will be going all out to record an impressive win in the hope of stepping up to world level in the near future..
So, while a speculative punt on Blackwell to win at 9/2 might not be completely foolhardy, the 8/15 on the Brighton man winning inside the distance could provide better value despite being odds-on.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.