Chris Eubank Jr has vowed to make new rival Wanik Awidjan answer for the “outlandish things” he has said since their fight was agreed.
Eubank Jr returns to action on Saturday in Newcastle, live on Sky Sports, finally able to release any pent-up frustration after two previous opponents withdrew from fighting him inside of a week.
Germany-based Awidjan has stepped up and has already made some bold claims that Eubank Jr tried to avoid facing him by trying to chase a different opponent.
Eubank Jr was previously set to face Anatoli Muratov who pulled out on the morning of their fight on medical grounds. Muratov had got the nod ahead of Awidjan, who now has his chance.
Eubank Jr said about Awidjan: “He couldn’t make the weight. He wanted to come in at 12st. We found someone else.
“He took that as me being scared.
“He took to social media and said some outlandish things.
“He is in a position where he has to back up the things that he has said.
“I’m interested to see, when we are face to face at the press conference and when we get in the ring, if he will have the same energy as he had on social media.”
Eubank Jr’s trainer, the legendary Roy Jones Jr, said about the brewing animosity with Awidjan: “I love to have [Eubank Jr’s] engine running. When it is running, great things happen. I’m happy that he talked junk!
“It’s easy to adapt because I prepare him for whatever. If an opponent does A or B, he may come out and do C. My job is to get him ready.
“These are just hurdles. If you can’t overcome these hurdles, how do you expect to overcome the hurdle of becoming world champ?”
Eubank Jr intends to tee up a major fight in December with a statement victory over Awidjan on a bill promoted by BOXXER that features Savannah Marshall and Hughie Fury.
Eubank Jr said about Awidjan: “I have a very good opponent – 28 wins, only one defeat, coming in from Germany.
“He’s ready to go, I’m ready to go.
“Before a fight you study the opponent, look at his fights, look at his strengths and weaknesses, how you can exploit him, figure out the best tactics.
“That has changed three times now.
“But this is my life. I have sparred and fought every type of opponent. I won’t see anything that I haven’t already seen a million times before.
“I need to adapt my style and strategy.
“We know what we are going to do with him.”
Sky Sports Boxing schedule
October 16 – Top Rank in San Diego
Emanuel Navarette vs Joet Gonzalez – WBO featherweight title
October 16 – BOXXER in Newcastle
Savannah Marshall vs Lolita Muzeya – WBO middleweight title
Hughie Fury vs Christian Hammer
Chris Eubank Jr vs Wanik Awidjan
Lewis Ritson vs Hank Lundy
October 24 – Top Rank in Atlanta
Shakur Stevenson vs Jamel Herring – WBO super-featherweight title
October 31 – Top Rank in New York
Jose Zepeda vs Josue Vargas
November 6 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Mikaela Mayer vs Maiva Hamadouche – IBF and WBO super-featherweight titles
November 6 – BOXXER in Liverpool
November 20 – BOXXER in London
Richard Riakporhe vs Olanrewaju Durodola
Caroline Dubois professional debut
December 11 – Top Rank in Las Vegas
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs Richard Commey
December 18 – Top Rank in Glasgow
Josh Taylor vs Jack Catterall – undisputed super-lightweight title