On July 15th one of the more interesting fights in the recent history of the 168lb. Super-Middleweight division will take place when IBO Super-Middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Jr. will defend his crown against former two-division world champion and current IBO number one Super-Middleweight contender Arthur Abraham at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England. This match-up, which will be televised on pay-per-view here in the United States, is in some ways a crossroads fight for both fighters.
For the champion Chris Eubank Jr. this fight represents what could be the start of his campaign to become the Super-Middleweight division’s central figure. Eubank, the son of the legendary former two-division world champion Chris Eubank Sr., won the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super-Middleweight world championship in February of this year with a tenth round stoppage of Renold Quinlan, has won twenty-four of twenty-five professional fights and will have what could be a difficult task in what will be his first title defense in the form of former world champion Arthur Abraham.
The primary question that I have going into this fight is how the thirty-seven year old Abraham will attempt to combat Eubank. Abraham is a former two-division world champion who successfully defended the IBF Middleweight world championship ten times between 2005-2009 before moving up in weight to the Super-Middleweight division. Abraham has gone on to hold the WBO Super-Middleweight championship twice, but some might argue after fifty-one professional fights that he might be a fighter on the decline.
Abraham however, has won two straight fights since losing the WBO Super-Middleweight world championship to Gilberto Ramirez in April of last year. The challenge for Abraham will be to neutralize Eubank’s movement and nullify his offense. Eubank is a fighter with a good mix of hand speed and punching power, but can throw punches from varying angles, which makes him a difficult fighter to combat.
Abraham is a fighter who uses a high and tight defensive guard to block and deflect his opponents offense as he attempts to apply pressure by coming forward and looking to gradually break an opponent down. The former champion has scored knockouts in thirty of his forty-six career wins registering a career knockout percentage of 59%. Although he has the ability to get an opponent out of there should the opportunity arise, Abraham has shown that he is also capable of outworking an opponent as a fight progresses.
Fighters who have good lateral movement and hand speed such as Andre Ward and Andre Dirrell have been able to outbox Abraham by outworking him and keeping him on the defensive. Abraham will face a similar challenge in this fight against Eubank.
The twenty-seven year old Eubank has all the theoretical advantages going into this fight. Youth, hand speed, an unorthodox style, punching power and is capable of ending a fight with either hand as evidenced by his scoring knockouts in nineteen of his twenty-four career wins registering a career knockout percentage of 76%. Although Eubank’s movement and angles have proven to be a difficult task for his opponents, he does periodically drop his hands choosing to attempt to avoid punches with strictly head and lateral movement.
Abraham is a first-class counter puncher and it will be interesting to see if Eubank shows any reluctance to drop his hands as to not leave the challenger a potential opening. When Eubank lets his hands go he is capable of varying his attack and keeping an opponent on the defensive. Given Abraham’s style of coming forward and working behind a tight defensive guard, one could expect that the champion will look to swarm the challenger with offense in spurts with the intent of keeping Abraham from being able to get off with his offense and using his movement to prevent him from closing the distance where he could get on the inside.
What is at stake in this fight beyond a world championship and a position atop the Super-Middleweight division is a slot in the upcoming World Boxing Super Series eight-man single-elimination Super-Middleweight tournament that is scheduled to begin in September. With the 168lb. Suoer-Middleweight division featuring several top fighters and world champions all vying to become the number one fighter/central figure of the division, we will see if Chris Eubank Jr. or Arthur Abraham will be able to make a strong argument as being the number one fighter in the division and earn a spot in the upcoming Super Series tournament which will likely determine the Super-Middleweight division’s next central figure.
“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”
Eubank Jr. vs. Abraham takes place tomorrow night (Saturday, July 15th) at the SSE Arena, Wembley in London, England. In the United States the fight as well as undercard can be seen on Integrated Sports Pay-Per-View for $29.95 on cable/satellite and the Fite TV app beginning at 2:30PM ET/11:30AM PT. Contact your cable/satellite provider to order. The Fite TV app is available on Apple app store and Android. For ordering information and more information about the Fite TV app as well as instructions on how to cast content from your phone or tablet to your television please visit: www.fite.tv. For more information on Integrated Sports Media please visit: http://www.integratedsportsnet.com.
In Canada, the card can be seen on Super Channel beginning at 2:30PM ET/11:30AM PT. For more information on Super Channel please visit: www.superchannel.ca. In the United Kingdom, the card can be seen on ITV Box Office for €19.95 HD/€16.95 Standard Definition. For more information about ITV Box Office as well as a listing of cable/satellite providers where ITV Box Office is available please visit: https://www.itvboxoffice.co.uk. Check your listings internationally.
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