Ahead of his crunch clash with Matt Korobov, we look at the southpaw competition Chris Eubank Jr has taken on as a pro, and how he got on
Chris Eubank Jr really needs to beat tough Russian Matt Korobov on December 7 in Brooklyn. The Brighton man is on the PBC show topped by Jermall Charlo vs Dennis Hogan and at stake is an Interim WBA title he has held before. The contest marks Eubank Jr’s return to middleweight following a spell up at 168lbs that encompassed WBSS semi-final defeat to George Groves followed by a career-best win over James DeGale. Since that February triumph, Eubank has sat on the shelf, waiting for an opportunity and now aged 30, with two defeats on the ledger, this is a crucial fixture for him, against an excellent amateur who has often flattered to deceive as a pro.
Ahead of his crunch clash with the left-hander Korobov, we look at the performance of Chris Eubank against southpaws during his 28-2 (21) pro journey.
W Rsf 2 Sandor Micsko, April 2014
Eubank Jr had a relatively brief amateur career and it was not until his 14th pro fight that he came across a southpaw. Even then it was a journeyman in Hungary’s Sandor Micsko, who he despatched with a minimum of fuss via a left uppercut.
W Rsf 1 Ivan Jukic, July 2014
You wait for ages then face two portsiders within four outings, albeit both European trialhorses. This Croatian was dropped twice on a short but painful night in Manchester.
L Pts 12 Billy Joe Saunders, November 2014
Imagine your first southpaw opponent above journeyman level was one of the very best in your division; it would probably look a lot like the first half of this gripping contest, with Eubank unable to pin Saunders down or land anything of note. Totally outboxed and too tentative early, Junior belatedly launched his charge as Saunders tired, brought increased pressure and very nearly caught up on the scorecards. It was a split verdict that really should have been unanimous, if close.
W Rtd 3 JJ McDonagh, September 2018
Having been befuddled by a southpaw adversary, his third in six fights, and lost for the first time as a pro, Eubank waited almost four more years before taking on another. McDonagh, a relatively straightforward kind of leftie, was more to his liking out in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. An odd fight that never really got started, despite an opening-round knockdown from Junior, ended when McDonagh cited a shoulder injury and retired in the corner.
W Pts 12 James DeGale, February 2019
A win over one of the better southpaws of his era would normally cause for great celebration for Eubank Jr, but having suffered with injuries and a number of gruelling scraps, DeGale was a little past his prime, and retired soon after this loss. Regardless, in a messy fight, Chris was the aggressor and more effective boxer.
While Eubank has a mixed record against the top-level southpaws he has faced, it should be remembered that the most clear defeat of his career came against George Groves, an orthodox operator. Given he was clearly beaten by Groves and Saunders, both intelligent boxers with exemplary fundamentals, perhaps Korobov’s amateur pedigree and grasp of the basics should be far more of a worry for a man who has got by, in large part, on his athleticism, fitness and desire.