Chris Eubank Jr. has spent most of his life being compared to his fighting father.
Now comes the expectation of drawing parallels to his new head trainer.
The second-generation boxer from Brighton, England has learned to live with being measured up to his father Chris Eubank Sr., a former two-division titlist and an integral part of the 1990s United Kingdom boxing scene. Efforts to take to his own game to the next level has led to a union with Roy Jones Jr. a former four-division titlist who is now an active head trainer.
“Roy has me focus on a lot of things. I’m hitting the bag, the pads and other work—it’s important, but there are so many other small details that are important,” Eubank Jr. (29-2, 22KOs) explained during the most recent edition of The PBC Podcast of the last two months spent under Jones’ tutelage. “The footwork the combination punching, picking punches, throwing punches, head movement. All these little things that as a fighter, you forget to work on. We’ve gone back to the basics. Roy is very serious and dedicated in forcing me to perfect the small things to make the big things work so much better. It’s an eye opener.
“It’s such simple things and I’m like, ‘Wow, why didn’t I think of this.’ I had no idea Roy would be anything like that as a trainer. You figure someone that famous and [legendary] wouldn’t really give you that much time. He’s the complete opposite. He’s one of the most hands-on trainers that I’ve ever seen or been around and I’ve been in gyms all over the world everywhere. That was surprising and a great experience.”
Eubank Jr. connected with the iconic boxing figure in mid-March, just as the sport and much of the free world was beginning to shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The moved led the 30-year old to Jones’ private facility in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida.
While having quickly adapted to way of life in the Florida Panhandle along with all that Jones has to offer, Eubank Jr. promises to carry his own identity into the ring for his next fight and all bouts moving forward.
“There’s only one Roy Jones Jr. You can’t teach any fighter how he fought,” notes Eubank Jr., who has won three straight including a 2nd round injury stoppage of Matvey Korobov in his United States debut last December in Brooklyn, New York. “He knows the things that’s worked for him and you can see how to add to them. My next fight, you’re not going to see me boxing or fighting like an exact replica of Roy Jones Jr.
“The little things that he’s teaching me, the small minute things that you might not even notice, those are the things he’s added to take me to the next level. My next fight, I’m excited to have Roy in my corner and see how high we can go.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox