There wasn’t one singularly contributing factor that produced a different outcome the second time around for Chris Eubank Jr.
Several changes were made by the second-generation middleweight following a fourth-round stoppage to Liverpool’s Liam Smith earlier this year. The 33-year-old Brighton native joined forces with noted boxing coach Brian ‘Bomac’ McIntyre, hired a nutritionist and changed his entire training schedule to leave no stone unturned ahead of his tenth-round stoppage win in a tour-de-force performance this past Saturday at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
“They all had percentages,” Eubank said of all the new members brought aboard to his team for his revenge-fueled rematch. “What I’ve learned over the years, you have to take all the percentages you can get. There are some tough, tough men out there. They have all hands on deck.
“If you don’t have the same, you’re at a disadvantage. We’re not doing that anymore.”
Eubank (33-3, 24KOs) trained under the guidance of Hall of Fame former four-division champion Roy Jones Jr. since the pandemic and leading into his first fight versus Smith (33-4-1, 20KOs).
The January 21 clash was competitive for three rounds. Eubank was dropped twice in the fourth, the latter which forced referee Victor Loughlin to stop the contest. It was revealed afterward that Jones himself was prepared to stop the fight, to which Eubank insisted that he needn’t bring a towel to the rematch and under no circumstances would he ever want to be rescued in that manner.
It became a moot point, as Jones was left behind for the rematch, which was rescheduled twice before landing on the September 2 date. The delay was a blessing in disguise as it allowed Eubank to tighten up all loose ends among his team and correct the things that went wrong more than seven months ago.
Still, what took place on Saturday was the result he expected on that January night. Some sneers came with that very pre-fight suggestion, though Eubank believes he has not only silenced many of his critics but has even converted a few into supporters of his still promising career.
“The weight had nothing to do with it. My mindset didn’t really have anything to do with it either,” Eubank said of his lone career stoppage defeat in January. “I’m always focused. It just wasn’t my night. I had to prove to the fans and the boxing public that I am who I say I am.
“I’m not a pretender, I’m not a fake. I do the things I say I’m gonna do. I’m not really a bad guy either. I know I got a few boos on the way in but I got a few cheers now. We’re not really there yet but we’re turning some people around on the journey. We still got a long way to go.”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox