Chris Eubank Jr. and Arthur Abraham make weight
By Scott Gilfoid: Arthur Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs) came in nearly 2 pounds over the 168 pound weight limit in weighing in at 169 ¾ pounds on Friday in weighing in for his title fight against IBO super middleweight champion Chris Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) for their pay-per-view fight this Saturday night on July 15 at the Wembley Arena in London, England. Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham is the main event on the card.
(Picture courtesy of Poxon Sports)
Fortunately for the 37-year-old Abraham, he was able to take the weight off within 2 hours to come back to the scales and weigh in at 168 lbs. It’s a lot of weight for a fighter to take off in a short period of time, especially a guy nearing 40 like Abraham.
Just how this will impact Abraham’s performance on Saturday night remains to be seen. I don’t think it’s a good thing. Abraham already was up against it in facing a young guy like the 27-year-old Eubank Jr. With the weight problems, Abraham might have ruined his only chances of winning the match.
For his part, Eubank Jr. weighed in at 167 ½ lbs. There was never any question whether Eubank Jr. would make the weight, since he’s not a true super middleweight. Unlike a lot of fighters, Eubank Jr. didn’t move up in weight to the 168 lb. division because he had to. Eubank Jr. was still able to make weight comfortably for his middleweight contests.
For some reason, Eubank Jr. decided to make the move up to super middleweight after he spotted IBO champion Renold Quinlan. You can argue that Eubank Jr. saw vulnerability with Quinlan, and opted to go in the path of least resistance. To be sure, Eubank Jr. had already turned down fights against Billy Joe Saunders and Gennady “GGG” Golovkin. Eubank Jr. didn’t fancy those fights. Eubank Jr. liked the idea more of fighting the little known Quinlan.
Eubank Jr. now is excited about fighting the recently beaten Abraham, who lost every round of a 12 round fight against Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez last year in losing his WBO super middleweight title to the Mexican boxer. You can draw your own conclusions as to why Eubank Jr. is going in the opposite direction of Saunders and GGG. I see it as a sign that Eubank Jr. doesn’t like his chances against those fighters, so he’s picked up a minor title and has chosen to defend it against a fading former world champion.
If this is just a one off type of thing for Eubank Jr, then I can give him a break. Eubank Jr. will be fighting in the World Boxing Super Series soon, and mixing it up against the likes of George Groves and Callum Smith. Eubank Jr. will have a chance of winning the WBA 168 lb. title against Groves.
Eubank Jr. has put himself in a tough spot by taking on an old timer like Abraham. It’s a no win situation for Eubank Jr. Even if he beats Abraham, he’s not going to get credit for doing so unless he knocks him out. It’s doubtful that Eubank Jr. will be able to do a better job against Abraham than Gilberto Ramirez did. Eubank Jr’s performance will be compared with Ramirez.
If Eubank Jr. loses to Abraham, then he’ll have no other choice but to move back down to 160 with his tail between his legs and hope that he can find success in that weight class. The fact that Eubank Jr. dodged the fight with Golovkin suggests that he doesn’t have the confidence to take on the best at middleweight. Some boxing fans see Eubank Jr. as an underachiever.
Matchroom Sport promoter Eddie Hearn must have been banging his own head against the wall when he saw how Eubank Jr. went from beating Gary O’Sullivan in 2015 to fighting domestic level fighters Nick Blackwell and Tom Doran in back to back fights. That was a very, very strange move on Eubank Jr’s part, as he was poised to get a title shot against WBA middleweight champion Danny Jacobs following his win over O’Sullivan.
Eubank Jr. had earned the #1 ranking with the WBA at 160, and he could have fought Jacobs. Instead of doing that, Eubank Jr. fought Blackwell and Doran. Eubank Jr. then chose not to fight Triple G. Instead of taking that fight, Eubank Jr. fought Renold Quinlan. I hate to say it, but Eubank Jr. looks like an underachiever to me. All I can think of when I see the moves Eubank Jr. has been making is the guy must lack self-confidence for him to be going in a different direction from taking on big fights that would changed his career for the better.
In the co-feature weights, IBF featherweight champion Leo Selby (24-1, 9 KOs) weighed in at 126 pounds for his title defense against #1 IBF Jonathan Victor Barros (41-4-1, 22 KOs). The Argentinian Barros weighed in at 125 ¼ pounds. Barros is coming into the fight with a 7-fight winning streak since losing to Mikey Garcia by an 8th round knockout in November 2012. That was a rough career patch for Barros, as he was beaten in 3 out of 4 fights from 2011 to 2012.Besides losing to Mikey Garcia, Barros was beaten by Juan Carlos Salgado and Celestino Caballero. Barros has been winning his fights in the last 5 years, but against terrible opposition. He’s not been fighting the best at featherweight. The International Boxing Federation has given Barros a very generous ranking that I wouldn’t give him. I don’t see Barros as being a better fighter than Carl Frampton, Joseph Diaz Jr., Viorel Siminion, Dennis Ceylan and Scott Quigg. The IBF has Barros ranked above all of those fighters.
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