There is nothing like a great boxing rivalry to grip the imagination of the general public. But what makes an eagerly anticipated matchup even more special, is a genuine hatred between the two combatants.
Next month, on a bill perfectly named “Bad Blood,” Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr.’s long standing rivalry will finally be settled in a boxing ring and not on Twitter, leaving boxing fans around the world purring at the prospect of witnessing this bitter feud come to a head once and for all.
Hatred is usually a strong word to use to describe a fighter’s feeling for his opponent, however in the case of Billy Joe Saunders and Chris Eubank Jr., hatred would not even come close.
From countless spats on social media to degrading one another to anyone who would listen, it is safe to say the pair will not be on each other’s Christmas card list.
Both fighters have risen from completely opposite boxing spectrum’s, with Saunders having a stellar amateur career, which has led to him becoming very successful within the paid ranks.
On the other hand, Eubank Jr. has had very few amateur bouts and even though sometimes he has shown glimpses of devastating skill as a pro, many have questioned the opposition he has faced as most of them have been of very little quality.
Nevertheless, Eubank Jr.’s team are adamant that Chris will annihilate “average” Joe Saunders, and already has the potential to defeat Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Gennady Golovkin at this stage of his career. Even though Eubank Jr. pushed Carl Froch to his limit in a recent sparring session, I sincerely don’t think he has a chance against Golovkin and Mayweather.
When the pair finally do meet on November 29, it will be interesting to see if Saunders will underestimate the enigma that is Chris Eubank Jr., or has Eubank Jr. talked himself into a fight he has no chance of winning?
Due to Saunders’ impressive pro career, some pundits are predicting a win for the reigning European champion, however it could easily go the other way as the boxing world are still struggling to determine whether Eubank Jr. is the real deal, or simply just a hype job blown up by his eccentric father along with his Eubank propaganda.
With the fight being on, off, then back on again, it is without question that the build up to this showdown will provide so many twists and turns that will leave our heads spinning.
It has to be said that both men have to be commended for putting their undefeated records along with their reputation on the line to prove the critics wrong and set the record straight, which is refreshing in modern day boxing.
In the end, this unhealthy rivalry is what propels the sweet science into the spotlight where it belongs, which ultimately makes the sport we love great.