By Nick Lustig, courtesy of The Daily Star
SUPER-MIDDLEWEIGHT prospect Lee Markham admits the chance to challenge Chris Eubank Jr would convince him to drop down a weight class.
Markham is back in training following elbow surgery and looking forward to a bout at York Hall in September having made the decision to move up to super-middleweight.
Although the 26-year-old insists a drop back down to middleweight is unlikely, he concedes that a fight with the highly-rated and unbeaten Eubank Jr would persuade him to make the switch.
"The only tempting fight that would get me down to middleweight would be Chris Eubank Jr," Markham said.
"He is making a lot of noise and I would like to get down there and shut him up."
Eubank Jr, the son of former World middleweight and super-middleweight champion Chris, is one of the sport's brightest up and coming stars and his confident, brash demeanour in the ring has drawn comparisons to his father.
The 24-year-old, who was recently a sparring partner for current WBA and IBF super-middleweight champion Carl Froch, prior to his stunning knockout victory over George Groves at Wembley last month, has also been targeted by fellow unbeaten fighters Billy Joe Saunders and Anthony Ogogo for potential bouts in the future.
And though a fight with Eubank Jr is also an enticing prospect for Markham, the Essex-born brawler is determined to be judged on his in the ring prowess rather than ability to trash talk.
"I want to make a name for myself off my own career," he added.
"I do not want to be calling people out and mugging myself off saying 'I'm going to beat this person'. Not name dropping big names. I want people to recognise what I am doing.
"Obviously you have to beat the best people out there and of course I would go back down there, but I feel more comfortable at super-middleweight."
A controversial defeat to Gary Boulden earlier on in his career has not prevented Markham from developing into a superbly skilled and efficient fighter with his record now reading 12-1.
An opponent for his next fight is yet to be confirmed, but Markham - the current British and International Masters champion - is hoping for a stern test and possibly an eliminator for a shot at Commonwealth super-middleweight champion Rocky Fielding.
"I have spoken to my team, and they are going to try and get me perhaps an eliminator for the Commonwealth title, which will obviously not be an easy fight," Markham said.
"I can only get motivated to fight good people. Not being disrespectful but if I'm fighting someone that I am expected to bowl over, I find it hard to get motivated for.
"But I have made my team aware, that I only want hard fights and maybe fights that I am expected to lose against so it really gets me fired up. So I am hoping September will be a hard fight."