Chris Eubank Jnr has spent lockdown learning under modern American boxing great Roy Jones Jnr as his coach on a farm in Pensacola, Florida, after a chance meeting in Las Vegas.
Eubank has been honing his ringcraft under the fighter who won world titles from middleweight to heavyweight over a five-month period, the Briton revealing that he feels in a new shape as a boxer.
Previously trained by his father Chris Snr, the 31-year-old told The Telegraph how he came to spend lockdown with the world’s former No 1 pound-for-pound boxer.
“I was in Vegas training, living the life,” Eubank said. “I own an apartment there.A friend of mine called Kevin Newman had a fight at a casino called Sam’s Town, off the strip. Roy was in his corner. I went there to support Kevin and watch him fight.
“After the fight I got a chance to talk to Roy for five minutes. I found out he had this gym in Pensacola. I asked him a couple of things about training. That was it, we went our separate ways I didn’t think about going to train with Roy.”
31 years old today. This year has been tough for boxing but I’m seeing the sport in a whole new light thanks to my coach Roy Jones Jr. It has sparked a renewed fire inside of me. I will be fighting again in December, stay tuned for a big announcement coming soon. pic.twitter.com/S9mw8Z66b5— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) September 18, 2020
But a week later, the coronavirus pandemic hit hard, and the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas closed. Eubank wondered what to do.
Should he go home to England and be with his family or stay in Las Vegas and ride it out? “Then it hit me, Roy Jones.
I called my dad and said to him ‘Can you see if you can get Roy to allow me to come and train with him?’ He said, ‘Sure, that’s a great idea’. A few hours later he called and said, ‘Yeah, it’s done’. I got on a plane the next day.”
Eubank said: “I’m not going to say coronavirus is a blessing because it’s been devastating to so many people, but because of it, it forced me to come here, change my attitude and the way I think about boxing. I’m not going into fights just wanting to rip these guys heads off. Instead of being just fit and strong, now I’m setting up game plans and strategies. My boxing IQ has gone up and I’m ready to show that. Roy has forced me to use it.”
Eubank added: “I just never dreamed I would be in this situation where I’m being trained by one of the best ever. Somebody I looked up to and idolised throughout my career and as a kid. Now I’m training with him everyday, sparring with him, helping him get in shape for this fight he has with Mike Tyson [an exhibition bout in November].”