IT’S NOT ABOUT HATING THE IBO TITLE, ITS ABOUT HATING EUBANK JR

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The image on my social media timeline of a clearly frustrated Chris Eubank Jr feeling a need to justify a dream is a sad one. His moment of glory has arrived; a world title shot – that cherished opportunity that almost every fighter envisions, now a manifested reality. Yet sadly, it seems you just won’t let the boy live.

Only Renold Quinlan the IBO Super Middleweight WORLD champion stands before him in February 2017. The same Renold who knocked out Former WBA, IBF AND IBO WORLD title holder, recent title challenger Daniel Geale in two rounds!

Well, let me correct myself, of course Renold stands before him, and also the new additional foes! Comprised of those who will not even grace the glistening strap with the respect of acknowledging its status as a world title. They tell you they are offended with his IBO title being acknowledged as a legitimate belt, but do they really care about this title that much? They’ve never expressed such disdain toward it before today, why is that?

I concede, the presentation of Eubank Jr’s argument may have been a little shaky. Suggesting that names alone, like former/current IBO title holders Floyd Mayweather; Manny Pacquiao; Gennady Golovkin; Roy Jones Jr are enough to legitimise the belt alongside the other four major bodies. But even the WBC, WBO, IBF & WBA had their beginnings. Perhaps Chris Eubank Jr will be the fighter to give the title weight in the future? Hold the title for years; multiple defences and afford it the legitimacy many feels it lacks? Nope…we can’t have it, not if it’s anything to do with Chris Eubank Jr.

The eventual acceptance of yet another world title is not something Boxing in its current state really needs. This I wholeheartedly agree with. However, we don’t need the four other belts either. Four other belts with numerous sub level trinkets dangling beneath them; interim; silver etc. It should be one belt, per division and one belt only. However Boxing doesn’t exist within this perfect sphere. So…in for a penny, in for a pound let Chris Eubank Jr have his moment.

Chris Eubank Jr for me, is one of the most exciting Middleweights fighting. At Super Middleweight, the many questions we have surrounding him, all of which contribute to excitement when watching him fight, will be further amplified. Great offence but will his occasionally too open defence present a myriad of free options for his opponents at super? Eubank Jr fights in a unique, really entertaining fashion, which serves to recruit many supporters; concerned onlookers and of course haters. Not many Boxers encourage this concoction of emotions, it’s great.

The reality is, the dissidence towards Eubank Jr’s sparkling IBO title, is not really directed toward the title as such. In my years of covering Boxing online I can barely remember a protest against the IBO title gathering as much fervour as this. In fact I can barely remember any opposition to it at all, it’s just always, like, sort of…existed, known it’s place. We were all pretty cool with it. No, this is about Chris Eubank Jr, and it’s here where the hypocrisy lies. It’s Christmas people, let’s open our hearts and let the hate escape…
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We don’t like the steps Eubank Jr is taking along the precarious tight rope that is, a boxing career. We (myself included) feel slightly offended; our noses have been put out of joint, so to speak. How dare he have the nerve to offer himself as a PPV fighter? The cheek of him daring to negotiate the best deal in the Golovkin fight! This is not mockery of those who foster these feelings. I have said the same things myself!

I just feel the distinction between disliking Chris Eubank Jr himself, and protesting the validity of a title, on a generous morale crusade to save Boxing has to be made. If we were really that offended by the IBO title being presented as a genuine world title, why haven’t we ever bothered to bat an eyelid, or bust a blood vessel over it before?

We accept all the other belts, no outrage was presented when Golovkin, Tyson Fury etc rocked the IBO belt, alongside the many others. Truth is, we are used to a silly number of belts within Boxing, we always have been. We just don’t appreciate the audacity of Chris Eubank Jr, that’s the problem we have here, and we should be openly honest about this. We hate Chris, not the IBO belt.

Eubank Jr’s entire approach and often cavalier attitude toward the Boxing business really knocks a lot of the Boxing snobs side wards; it’s left field, a little weird, but ultimately captivating and I’m actually really starting to enjoy it.

I don’t feel the fight should be Pay-Per-View, and I feel Eubank Jr is tip toeing through an ice rink littered with Banana skins, but it is fu**ing exciting, and by fair means or foul, every one of us will be watching his upcoming fight, just to poke a beady eye over the page to see what the hell is going to happen, in the next chapter of the Eubank Jr Story.

Now all he needs to do is actually win the fight….