Chris Eubank Jr vs JJ McDonagh

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Eubank Jr is there to be hit, says Jeddah opponent JJ McDonagh

Published On Monday, September 17, 2018By Danny Flexen

JJ McDonagh steps in to meet Chris Eubank Jr on the WBSS final bill and talks to Danny Flexen

Irish traveller JJ McDonagh agreed to box Chris Eubank Jr at less than five weeks’ notice, but not just because he has sparred with the Brighton man in the past. The decision to meet Eubank over 10 rounds on the undercard of the George Groves vs Callum Smith World Boxing Super Series final undercard in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on September 28, is indicative of a fearless attitude McDonagh, and his twin brother, light-heavyweight Paddy, have long embodied.

“I was first offered a fight with Luke Blackledge, but that fell through due to money I believe, but I’ll fight anyone,” says the Mullingar man, who meets Eubank at 12st (168lbs) in Jeddah. “I want good hard opponents. He’s a good boxer, only two world champions have beaten him [in Billy Joe Saunders and Groves], but I don’t fear him. I don’t fear any boxer, he’s a human being at the end of the day, but he comes in for a fight, he’s there to be hit and hopefully I’ll perform good. It’s a good opportunity, I couldn’t refuse it.”

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> McDonagh is a 6ft 2in southpaw and the first left-handed Eubank has faced since dropping a close decision to Saunders in 2014. The Irishman is 16-4 (8) and his only defeat in the last four years came via three-round verdict to unbeaten Roy Sheehan - the eventual winner - in the Last man Standing tournament in March. Indeed, JJ has found longer fights against name opposition hard to come by since blasting touted Jake Ball in the first round in November 2016.

“Me manager tried to get me a good few fighters but they didn’t wanna fight me,” he confirms. “Then I got injured, so I’ve not had much luck. Living out here, I go round different gyms to train and I sparred Eubank in Brighton but we only did three rounds; he did more with Paddy because he needed the sparring at the time for [his contest with] Steve Collins Jr [last year].
“This fight could go one round, two rounds, it could go the distance. I’ve travelled a lot of the world but never that side so I hope everything is good out there.”