Tomorrow night sees two British world champions come head to head in what should be an explosive semi final in the exciting world boxing super series.
Chris Eubank jr defending his IBO world title against WBA world champ George Groves, its a fight that ignites the passion in both casual and hardcore fans, safe to say, many pubs and even cinemas will be full with people cheering on their chosen fighter.
I caught up with Horsham boxer Ben Gumbrell, himself a 45 fight veteran and former belt holder to discuss his views on this forthcoming grudge match and anything else boxing wise that came up.
First things first, i wanted to know who he could see emerging victorious, “Eubank will win, he’s quicker in speed and agility, i would even say he has more power. He also takes shots well, he’s a lot harder to hit than Groves is.” Groves got his hands on his world title at the fourth time of asking which has led to some wondering whether he has the longevity to keep pushing for glory should he loose on Saturday, Ben believes he only has a few options that would keep him at the top, “I watched George against Jamie Cox , it was a good stoppage but I wasnt overly impressed with the rounds leading up to it. For George to remain relevant, or at the top he will need to fight someone like Callum Smith or Gilberto Ramirez.
Eubank Jr took his lesser known IBO title against Renold Quinlan but its his defeat to Billy Joe Saunders that most people remember and most want to see him avenge, its been 3 years since they entered the ring together and the clamour for the fight shows no sign of subsiding, Ben thinks it will happen and says it could be down to money rather than potential glory that determines if it happens, “I’m sure Eubank would love a rematch with Billy joe, with it only being a points win he (saunders) knows he cant really hurt Eubank so may not want to take the risk, but like anything in boxing if the money is right its more likely to happen, probably later in Saunders career though.”
Ben has referenced four British fighters during our conversation and I was wondering, as a fighter himself, who he enjoys watching, “I am a big fan of AJ (Anthony Joshua) and after being at Wembley, watching possibly the best live fight I’ve ever seen, against Wladimir Klitschko, I just have to rate him. I , like everyone else want to see AJ fight Deontay Wilder but I really cant see that happening anytime soon, so that leaves Tyson Fury as a potential opponent. Tyson isn’t ready yet after his time away from the ring but a solid year with a few wins could see it happen. It may match or even better the klitschko fight.”
For many boxers they have someone in the trade that acts as an inspiration, or someone they want to emulate. When we get talking about ring legends Ben is quick to relay who he looked up to the most, “Joe Calzaghe, I’ve met him a few times through the boxing circuit and after seeing him beat Eubank senior in 1997 I instantly became a fan. I followed his career to the end and seen him beat everyone. He beat all in his path with fast hands and flurries of punches, for years he was underrated until he beat the american Jeff Lacey. That was his best fight.”
So whilst talking about national and international boxing stars, i thought we should conclude with a nod to the local fight game, Ben won welterweight titles and captained the Horsham ABC from 2005 to 2013, who does he see coming through as a big name, “Floyd Moore, he is someone I fought in the amateurs and now he is making it professionally. He’s now ranked in the top 20 and fights in Belfast on April 14th. Hes certainly one to watch.”
So before we part, I just wanted a final prediction for Saturday night, (Im a Eubank fan regardless but would like to tie Ben down to a method of victory)……”it’s a KO round 10 or 11”