By Jake Donovan
Matchroom Boxing has added middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. to its stable, a move that seemed to be months in the making if you were to believe all of the rumors.
The unveiling came during a press conference held Friday afternoon in London.
"I am delighted to welcome WBA interim middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. to our team," promoter Eddie Hearn announced during the session.
Eubank Jr. (19-1, 14KOs) has been out of the ring since winning the secondary title in February, but will hit the ground running with his new team. Plans call for the second-generation boxer to return to the ring on October 24 in Sheffield, England. His placement will come in supporting capacity to unbeaten local favorite Kell Brook, who defends his welterweight title versus Argentina's Diego Chaves.
Assuming all goes well, a quick return is in store with his next fight afterward scheduled for December.
“I’ve only fought once this year. To have two fights in quick succession (October & December) is perfect,” noted Eubank Jr., who won his belt in a 12th round stoppage over Dmitry Chudinov in February.
The bout was his first fight back following the lone loss of his career, a narrow points loss to bitter rival Billy Joe Saunders last November. The two appeared destined for a rematch, even withdrawing from separate bouts on a May 9 show at Wembley Arena to preserve themselves for an early summer clash.
Part two never came about, with Saunders eyeing a shot at middleweight titlist Andy Lee. However, his efforts at a first title have twice been postponed, most recently due his suffering an injury during training camp.
As for Eubank Jr., life goes on and with a move that was destined to happen in more ways than one. Such a collaboration was discussed shortly after the bout with Saunders, which Hearn let known through the media his belief that the fighter took short money for a big risk. As if he and veteran promoter Frank Warren ever need a reason to squabble, the two were engaged in a social media feud over the matter, although such hostility eventually passed.
Nothing came of it at the time as it relates to Eubank Jr. Little also came of his future at the time, with just one fight all year before moving to Matchroom in a decision that sees his career come full circle.
His signing with Eddie Hearn brings forth the rare feat of two generations of promoters guiding the respective careers of two generations of fighters. Eddie Hearn's father, Hall of Fame promoter Barry Hearn promoted Chris Eubank Sr. back in his heyday when the always-quotable Brit enjoyed lengthy title reigns at middleweight and super middleweight.
The hope is that the same magic is passed down to the next generation.
“I hope to have similar success with Chris Eubank Jr. as my father did with Chris Eubank,” the younger Hearn noted.
Jake Donovan is the managing editor of BoxingScene.com.
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