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Training with alligators: Eubank Jr.’s preparations on new trainer Jones Jr.’s farm

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Chris Eubank Jr. has found working with Roy Jones Jr. more than just an education in boxing as he has got closer to nature at his new trainer’s farm, including sparring with unusual farm animals.

On Saturday, the English middleweight contender has his first fight since moving to live on Jones’ Pensacola, Florida farm and be trained by the 52-year-old, who won world titles in four weight divisions.

Jones, once boxing’s pound-for-pound No. 1, who now keeps a variety of animals on his farm, will be in Eubank’s corner for his fight against Marcus Morrison (23-3, 16 KOs) at the Manchester Arena, England.

Eubank (29-2, 22 KOs), 31, whose father Chris Eubank Sr. was linked to a middleweight title unification fight with Jones in the 1990s, joined up with Jones last year just before the outbreak of the pandemic and says the move has refined his boxing skills.

“I met him maybe a week or two before COVID-19 hit at a boxing show at Sam’s Town in Las Vegas,” Eubank tells ESPN.

“I got in contact with Roy via my dad. I was training at Floyd Mayweather’s gym in Vegas at the time but I was on a plane to Pensacola the next day. When I got down there I realised he’s a trainer in the true sense of the word. I was there for over a year before coming back to the U.K. for this fight. I learned so much in that time — mental and physical parts of the game and working on so many different things.”

Eubank, who has not fought since winning the WB “interim” middleweight title in December 2019 via a second round TKO win over Matvey Korobov, has been amazed by some of the local wildlife while training at a gym located on Jones’ farm.

“There’s chickens, raccoons, alligators, turkeys, snakes, armadillos, peacocks and pitbulls there,” Eubank says.

“I’ve had multiple sparring sessions with animals in the ring when I’m sparring, it’s just become normal. It’s a mad house but that’s how Roy likes it. On his farm there’s alligators just roaming around the swamp. One got too big and he actually had to hunt it down and put it on his wall.”

Eubank hopes to win world titles at middleweight with American Jones in his corner, after dropping down from super-middleweight late in 2019.

“Fighting at super middleweight for so many years took my attention away from boxing,” he adds.

“I started to focus on power because I was fighting against guys who were much bigger than me, otherwise they would just bully me. Roy has brought the boxing and the tactics and the thinking back into my game. He will be in my corner for the rest of my career I expect.

“I was making progress at super-middleweight but I’m not at super-middleweight. I was having to actively gain weight by eating more than I do, and taking carbohydrate powders and having breakfast before the weigh-in.”

ESPN Boxing

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