Chris Eubank Jr. has an issue with his promoter’s matchmaking direction.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), a few days after the fallout of his fight with Conor Benn, the cocksure British middleweight contender took his longtime promoter, Kalle and Nisse Sauerland of Wasserman Boxing, to task for apparently trying to recruit the services of an opponent with an excessively low profile, Italy’s Etinosa Oliha, a 25-year-old middleweight beltholder under the IBO, a fringe sanctioning body not considered one of the major four.
Eubank was under the impression that his handlers were working on securing a fight with unified middleweight champion Janibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan. The skilled southpaw is promoted by Las Vegas-based Top Rank.
“Went to sleep after agreeing to fight Janibek for world titles… Woke up & now my promoter @sauerlandbros is trying [to] make me fight Etinosa Oliha, a boxer nobody has heard of… @wassermanboxing how & why?”
Eubank’s apparent desire to face Alimkhanuly will strike some as rich, given that the Brighton native dismissed the Kazakh puncher on the same grounds as Oliha, that is, for being unknown to the public.
“I don’t know who they are,” Eubank told Sky Sports several months ago. “And I’m in the game. So the general public are not going to know who these guys are, which means it’s hard for them to tune in if you’re making it a pay-per-view event, which a world title should be.”
Eubank, 34, was in deep talks to face sworn rival Benn on Feb. 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but their negotiations finally hit a cul-de-sac earlier this week, with both sides agreeing to move on.
Benn and his handlers have blamed the breakdown in talks on Eubank’s unrealistic financial demands. Eubank vs. Benn was originally agreed to and scheduled for October of last year, but the fight was cancelled after Benn was revealed to have tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug clomifene. (Subsequently, it would be revealed that Benn tested positive for the drug on two separate occasions.)
Benn, who remains mired in his drug controversy, now believes the fight with Eubank will never happen.
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.