By Gregory Doyle (@TheGreatDoyle)
On Saturday 15th July, newly crowned IBO Super-Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank Jnr will defend his title against the dangerous and always game German based Armenian, “King” Arthur Abraham.
Abraham (46-5, 30KO) a former three time World Champion has had a fantastic career to date, losing only at the very summit of boxing. IBF Middleweight Champion from December 2005 to June 2009, Abraham arguably dominated the 160lbs scene, without tasting defeat before venturing new challenges at the 168lbs Super-Middleweight division. The move has been a challenging rollercoaster for the Armenian with lots of mixed fortune. Most notably his first defeat by DQ to Andre Dirrell, as well as dropping decisions to future hall of famers Carl Froch and Andre Ward. However with those setbacks the gutsy Armenian bounced back, winning two WBO Super-Middleweight championships as part of an epic trilogy against tough former German title holder Robert Stieglitz. Abraham then went on to defend his title an impressive 5 times before running into classy Mexican operator Gilberto Ramirez in April 2016 losing a lopsided decision in Vegas. Abraham has never fought in Britain but is no stranger to fighting British opposition. As previously noted, Abraham dropped a decision to former three time World Champion Carl Froch however holds victories over fellow Brits Wayne Elcock, Paul Smith (x2) and Martin Murray. Since losing to Ramirez, he has went on to record 2 respective victories on German soil most recently against Robin Krasniqi. However at 37, what does “King Arthur” have left? A question which will be answered on July 15th against young and hungry title holder Eubank Jnr.
Eubank Jnr (24-1, 19KO) son of former 2 weight World Champion Chris, has had an impressive yet “stop, start” feel to his career as a pro. Storming through all challenges at Middleweight until dropping a split decision to current WBO Middleweight Champion, Billy Joe Saunders. Eubank bounced back stopping Russian Dmitrii Chudinov to pick up the WBA-Interim World Strap and also picked up the prestigious BBoC British Middleweight Title in a gruelling one sided contest with Nick Blackwell who later had to retire from boxing following the bout. Eubank Jnr defended his British Title in style against Wales based Tom Doran before deciding to test waters himself at 168lbs after seeing a fight with the devastating WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Champion Gennady Golovkin fall through the net. Leaving Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom stable, Eubank moved promotional company to ITV and immediately picked up the IBO Super-Middleweight Title against the then Champion Renold Quinlan on ITV pay per view, winning very comfortably before stopping Quinlan in the 10th round which was no surprise to many with Quinlan’s relative inexperience. July 15th should present Eubanks toughest test to date which can also be seen on ITV Pay Per View. The general feel from me is that Eubank should come through a very tough fight but Abraham is far from a push over and could present very sticky patches in the fight scheduled twelve rounds for Eubanks IBO title.
Is this great matchmaking from Team Eubank and ITV, which will open the door to more financially rewarding fights with the top players in the Super-Middleweight division? Or is this an unnecessary risk at this point in Eubanks career? July 15th we find out.
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