Chris Eubank Jnr is a man who polarises opinion, there are many who think he is the real deal and will go on to dominate the division. There are however plenty others who think he is a showman who is just playing on his father’s name.
Back in February when Eubank Jnr was preparing for his showdown with George Groves in the semi-finals of the World Boxing Super Series he said that this would be the fight which would help separate him from his father and allow him to come out from his shadow. He went on to lose that fight being schooled by George Groves if we are honest, it also allowed boxing fans to jump onto keyboards around the world and criticise his performance.
Having a famous father can make it difficult for anyone to find their own identity, what makes this more difficult is having the same job. To then choose the same walk on ring music, having the same stance and mannerisms as well as use the same trainer then it’s almost as if you get the feeling he’s not really sure he does want to be out of Chris Snr’s shadow. He says he is his own man, he says he has his own style and he says he is walking his own path, all of that sounds great but does anyone truly believe that is the case at the moment?
He appears to be accepting of the fact that there will always be comparisons to his father and there is no getting away from the fact that this will always be the case, particularly when he is always around. My own view is that it must be great to have the advice from someone who has been there done that and was an incredible fighter and who wouldn’t listen to someone like that if they had the opportunity. Whilst it is great to have someone with that level of experience helping you and passing on tips it should not be the focal point of everything.
I personally don’t see anything wrong with using the same song or having the same ring entrance as it is all part of “brand Eubank”. The thing that will lift him out of the shadows is winning against the bigger names in the division. In order to do that he needs to have a trainer that he respects and will listen to as opposed to his father being there but giving very little instruction. Eubank Jnr has talent there is no doubt about that, if he can be moulded and given the right advice then he could still go on to become a dominant force in the division. That will be enough to help give him his own identity and take his own place on centre stage.
Whatever you think of Chris one thing that can’t be denied is that he knows his market. He is smart and acknowledges that you have to be loved or hated in this sport to make people want to pay to watch you, whether that be buying a ticket or PPV sales. Chris knows that at the end of the day it’s all a business and it can be a very short career. If he can walk away from the sport with his health intact and his bank balance booming then it’s job done. When he’s on his sun lounger in Dubai, he will be the one smiling and the only shadows he will be in are the ones from the backdrop of the Burj Al Arab.