There is plenty of hostility between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams ahead of their grudge Cardiff bout this weekend, but Adam Booth’s presence certainly adds a little bit of spice to proceedings.
Booth has been recruited by the Welshman for his raucous homecoming at the Motorpoint Arena, with the decorated coach given eight weeks to fine tune the middleweight’s tools to face the Englishman.
However, Booth and Eubank Jr have history. Back in 2015, the pair enjoyed a fighter-trainer relationship, with the 53-year-old ecstatic to have the young prospect on board at the time.
There is plenty of hostility between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams ahead of their bout
‘I’ve always known that Junior has got the ingredients to be a great champion,’ he told boxingnewsonline shortly after teaming up with the now-32-year-old in September 2015.
‘He’s got all the energy, so many elements and as a coach, to work with a fighter with those elements is an exciting job.
‘I have seen him evolve, mature and prove that he can fight. I have said to everyone that will listen: ‘he can fight, make no mistake’. It is going to be a long career and long journey for him because he has so much more he can do.’
Booth also predicted that Eubank Jr would be a world champion by 2016. However, the relationship fell apart after just six months, with a irreconcilable difference in views causing the split.
Adam Booth’s (R) presence will add a bit of spice to proceedings in Cardiff on Saturday
In 2019, Eubank Jr revealed that a tense sparring session with Bellator star Michael ‘Venom’ Page at his gym in Brighton was the straw that broke the camel’s back for himself and Booth.
‘The reason it fell apart between me and Adam Booth… We had a sparring session down at my gym in Brighton,’ he told iFL TV.
‘And Michael ‘Venom’ Page, he came down, and a few other sparring partners. Adam came down. And me and Michael sparred.
‘Through my entire career I’ve always sparred three-minute rounds, 30 seconds’ rest. We did one round, me and Michael. And I said: “Alright, 30-second rest and we’re back in for the second round.”
‘And Michael said: “No, it’s not. It’s a minute rest.” Him and his trainer. His trainer was like: “No way, we’re doing 30-second rest – we’ll do a minute rest.”
Booth (L) has mentored some of the biggest names in British boxing during his career
In 2015, Booth teamed up with Eubank Jr and he delighted over his former charge’s talent
‘I said: “Well, it’s my gym, you’ve come down here to spar me so respect the rules of the gym and we’re going to do 30-second rests.” And they were like: “No, we’re not doing that.”
‘I said: “Alright, well there’s the door mate, my other sparring partner’s gonna jump in. Because that’s how I spar. It’s my gym, you’ve come down to work with me, so if you’re not happy with that you guys can leave.”
‘So they did, he got out the ring, him and his trainer left. And Adam Booth left with them. He followed them out of the door and didn’t come back.
‘A trainer is supposed to stick by their fighter, in my opinion. Even if I was wrong, which I don’t think I was, Adam should have stayed in the gym with me, not be upset because I chased away a sparring partner.
‘Seeing him do that made me think: “OK, this isn’t the right guy for me. We’re obviously on two different levels.”‘
However, a tense sparring session saw the 53-year-old walk away from Eubank Jr’s team
Booth has since trained a legion of star names, including Josh Kelly and Mick Conlan, before Williams came calling late last year.
Eubank Jr has insisted that Booth’s brief stint with him in 2015 will have no bearing on the outcome of Saturday’s clash.
Yet the 53-year-old’s decision to take on Williams has aggrieved Eubank Jr for a different reason. Booth may not train the 32-year-old anymore, but he does coach his younger cousin, Harlem Eubank.
‘I don’t feel any way about it. It doesn’t affect me, I just told Harlem that it shows that Adam Booth doesn’t care about you,’ he told iFL TV. ‘If he did, then he would never even think about training somebody to fight his close cousin.
‘The fact he is actually doing it shows his true colours. So I just told him, you’ve got to be wary about that moving forward with him.
‘It was short, we were only together a few months, so you can’t really base a training relationship off of that.
Williams has recruited Booth for the Cardiff bout in a bid to get the upper hand this weekend
However, Eubank Jr insists Booth’s involvement will have no bearing on Saturday’s contest
‘It was so long ago, I am a completely different fighter now. If he (Williams) thinks hiring Adam Booth to help him beat me, is going to help effect the outcome of the fight, then he is sadly mistaken.’
Surprisingly, Booth agrees with Eubank Jr’s latter sentiments. The esteemed trainer admits that his former charge has ‘evolved’ since their time together, and insists he is purely focused on sharpening Williams’ skillset.
‘You should never go into a fight based around a man’s weaknesses,’ he told SecondsOut. ‘All I have talked about, really, is what his [Eubank Jr’s] strengths are, how to negate the strengths to take advantage of what you then want to do. But you have got to be careful because people change.
‘Chris Jr is certainly a hell of a lot more seasoned and experienced fighter than when I worked with him. There has been a few years and a lot of big fights for him. So we can’t be complacent about the fact that when I worked with him he was like this because he has obviously evolved as a fighter and a man as well.
‘I am very mindful of the fact I shouldn’t be trying to change Liam at all,’ he added. ‘Styles make fights, so when you go to a fight you look at the tools you need for it and you work on it.
The Welshman is looking to bounce back after suffering defeat to Demetrius Andrade last year
‘I am not showing Liam anything he can’t already do. It is about repetition of the things that will be essential for this fight. I am really enjoying working with Liam, he gets on famously with everyone in the gym.’
As far as Booth is concerned, Saturday’s fight presents an intriguing match-up, and he lifted the lid on a conversation with Kalle Sauderland, in which he insisted the promoter is taking a ‘risk’ on putting his golden goose in with the fierce Welshman.
‘When the fight was made, I thought it was a tasty fight. I said to Kalle (Sauderland) why have you made that fight? What’s the upside here? It’s all about risk over gain and I thought it was about as 50/50 a fight as I could sort of envisage it.
‘That was before being involved. I’m a coach, I like Liam and we agreed to work together for the project.’
Eubank Jr and Booth was not meant to be, but the trainer will hope that this weekend’s clash in Cardiff will see the beginnings of a very fruitful relationship with The Machine.
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