Chris Eubank Jr. to face Arthur Abraham on July 15th or 22nd
By Scott Gilfoid: IBO super middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) will be reportedly defending his 168 pound title against former 2 division world champion Arthur Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) in London, England on either July 15th or July 22nd. This will be the first defense for the 27-year-old Eubank Jr. for his recently won International Boxing Federation 168 lb. title that he captured last February with a 10th round knockout win over Renold Quinlan.
That fight was a mismatch from the word go. Quinlan didn’t have the power or the talent to give Eubank Jr. any problems in that fight. Entertaining fight, it was not. It was a simple mismatch. Eubank Jr. has been talking ever since about how his IBO title will open the doors for him to get a big unification fight against IBF super middleweight champion James DeGale. The boxing public has been skeptical, and rightly so.
The iBO title isn’t considered one of the more desirable ones. There are 4 world titles – IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO – that top fighters look to capture for them to claim to be called world champions. The IBO is still in the transition period where it hasn’t quite gotten up there yet with the big 4 world titles. Eubank Jr’s grand ideas that the IBO title would lure DeGale into fighting him has turned out to be just wishful thinking, as he’s shown little interest thus far in making a fight with him.
Perhaps that’ll change in the future if Eubank Jr. can take Abraham’s scalp in July and add it to his collection. It would definitely make news if Eubank Jr. were to beat Abraham and knock him out. Eubank Jr. is not a huge puncher. He’s more of a guy that wins his fights by throwing a massive smount of shots to either win a decision or get a stoppage after hitting an over-matched opponent a ton of times.
Does Eubank Jr. have the talent to beat Abraham?
Abraham is a real threat to beating Eubank Jr. due to his still formidable punching power. Granted, Abraham isn’t knocking out guys like he used to earlier in his career, but he still has excellent punching power. Abraham has won his last two fights in beating Robin Krasniqi and Tim Robin Lihaug. Krasniqi is someone around the same level of talent as Eubank Jr., and Abraham easily handled him in beating him by a 12 round unanimous decision last April in winning by the scores 118-110, 117-111 and 115-114. Eubank Jr. has won his last 6 fights since losing a 12 round split decision to Billy Joe Saunders on November 29, 2014.
Eubank Jr. hasn’t improved much since that defeat. Eubank Jr. still admires his work after throwing punches. He still does a lot of posing before or after throwing a punch. Eubank Jr. will throw a punch and pull it back in a way that makes him look like he’s trying to show off. When I watch Eubank Jr. fight, I get the impression that he’s in the wrong profession. Eubank Jr. acts like he wants to be on the runway modeling clothes rather than fighting. The poses are such a waste of time. Right now, I’d have to favor Abraham to beat Eubank Jr. Abraham is the bigger puncher of the two by far, and he has the experience going for him.
It’s kind of surprising that Abraham is going to bother fighting Eubank Jr. for his IBO strap, because he’s a popular enough fighter to get a title shot against one of the other super middleweight champions like WBA champion Tyron Zeuge or WBO champ Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. Abraham already lost to Ramirez by a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision last year in April 2016. Abraham had a REALLY bad night against Ramirez in losing by the lopsided scores of 120-108, 120-108 and 120-108. The fight was one-sided enough to suggest that Abraham will probably always lose to Ramirez no matter how many times they fight.
What happens to Eubank Jr. if he loses to Abraham?
Eubank Jr. has a great to lose if he gets beaten by Abraham in July. Eubank Jr. has dreams of fighting the likes of DeGale, Gennady “GGG” Golovkin and Billy Joe Saunders. A loss for Eubank Jr. to Abraham would be a big setback for his career, making it necessary for him to hit the old reset button once again. Eubank Jr. is well familiar with the reset button, as he had to restart his career after he was beaten by Sanders 3 years ago. Eubank Jr. was under the impression that he should have been given the decision over Saunders, but the judges and the boxing fans believed that he rightfully lost. Getting beaten by Abraham would be a far worse blow to Eubank Jr’s career, because it would be his second big loss.
Losing once is forgivable in the eyes of most boxing fans, because those kinds of thing happen from time to time. But a second defeat for Eubank Jr. would send a strong message to the boxing world that he simply isn’t good enough to be a word champion. It wouldn’t be game over for Eubank Jr. in terms of his career, but it would be close enough to that status for his career to be on the brink of imploding. Personally, I think Eubank Jr’s loss to Saunders was a big enough to suggest that he simply doesn’t have the talent to come back from the loss.
These are the guys that Eubank Jr. has beaten since losing to Saunders:
– Tony Jeter
– Gary O’Sullivan
– Nick Blackwell
– Tom Doran
– Renold Quinlan
Eubank Jr. has had the chance for big fights against Gennady Golovkin and Danny Jacobs. Instead, Eubank Jr. opted to take lesser fights. It’s kind of sad. After Eubank Jr. beat Gary O’Sullivan in December 2015, he was in the position to challenge then WBA World middleweight champion Danny Jacobs for his title. Instead of doing that, Eubank Jr. fought and defeated Nick Blackwell last year in March 2016 to win the British middleweight title. Eubank Jr. followed that win up with a 4th round knockout win over Tom Doran in June of 2016. Shortly after that, Eubank Jr. had a chance to face Golovkin. However, the negotiations for the fight took a long time, and British promoter Eddie Hearn decided to offer the same deal that he’d offered Eubank Jr. to welterweight Kell Brook, who immediately agreed to the GGG fight with the same deal points.
Eubank Jr. royally blew it by not quickly agreeing to the Golovkin fight. So instead of fighting GGG in a big money fight that would have gained him a lot of fame, Eubank Jr. wound up facing little known Renold Quinlan for his IBO strap at 168. Eubank Jr. had the chance to fight Golovkin for his IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight titles. Which would you rather fight for? The IBO super middleweight title or the IBF/WBA/WBC middleweight belts?
Golovkin’s promoter Tom Loeffler still says he would be interested in entertaining the idea for a fight against Eubank Jr. in the future. Just when that would happen is anyone’s guess. It might be never. I hope Eubank Jr. isn’t holding his breath waiting for the GGG fight to take place, because he could be waiting for a long, long time.