Boxing finds a home at Wembley Arena this weekend, and Chris Eubank Jr is looking to cash a small amount of the cheques his mouth has been writing with a win against world class super middleweight stalwart Arthur Abraham.
On the stacked undercard Lee Selby offers a shot at his world title to tough former champ Jonathan Victor Barros and Kid Galahad can step up to the global stage with an impressive win over Mexico’s Jose Cayetano.
Saturday is a night of opportunities for Eubank Jr. He can lay down a marker against a famous former champion for the first time and the winner of this contest enters the Super Series boxing tournament, where there’s a couple of proper world titles in the mix. There’s also the chance to build a huge fan base and a mountain of cash on ITV Box Office.
All Junior needs to do is beat 37 year old German, Abraham. A decade ago Abraham was in the midst of a four year reign as the middleweight boss and he went up a division to face the likes of Carl Froch and Andre Ward but ultimately came up short against the best.
More recently the wily warhorse got his hands on a version of the 168 pound world title and dished out losses to Paul Smith and Martin Murray. He lost his title to the classy Gilberto Ramirez but his only stoppage loss remains the result of an injury. Junior is 2/1 to double Abraham’s career defeats by KO.
— Chris Eubank Jr (@ChrisEubankJr) July 13, 2017
The Brit swings for home runs but his power is more concussive than stunning. Eubank has been racking up the stoppages in recent years but against anybody with a bit about them he’s only managed to force the end in the later rounds.
Abraham only has two KO wins in his last 12 contests, so don’t be tempted by shock stoppage win for the visitor. Where ‘King Arthur’ can cause Junior some problems is with his jab-and-hold tactics. Don’t rule out the 12/1 for Abraham on points but Eubank will probably be smart to it and he’s a vicious inside-fighter.
I’m put off Eubank on points becaue I think there’s value to be had elsewhere with the Eubank KO. Abraham has suffered cuts and swelling in fights before and Eubank’s reputation precedes him with referees. If the doctor or the third man in the ring don’t intervene then I wouldn’t be surprised if Abraham, clearly losing a fight at this point in his career, calls it a day.
Bet of the bout: Eubank Jr to win in rounds 7-12 – 3/1
The curious case of Selby’s career is that it’s stalled since he became world champion. The Barry boy has been involved in just three bouts in three years since he acquired his featherweight belt and his last fight wasn’t even deemed a title defence.
Barros was scheduled to take on Selby in January but was withdrawn just 15 minutes before the weigh-in because of medical issues, ruining the champs dream of a Las Vegas championship contest. Selby has promised to make Barros pay and he’s just 1/25 to win.
The Argentine shouldn’t be completely overlooked however. Back in 2011 Barros was a world champion and in his career three of his four losses were world title fights, while the other was to the pound-for-pound ranked Mikey Garcia and ended in his only stoppage loss.
Both Barros and Selby have KO ratios less than 50% and this one’s destined to go the distance. Two tough, attacking fighters means that some of the rounds could be close and that makes Barros to win on points at 20/1 a viable option. The serious money should be behind Selby by the same method however.
Bet of the bout: Selby to win on points – 4/9
Third bout on the bill is Galahad’s scrap with Mexican slugger Cayetano. The Yorkshireman is desperate to move on to world level after almost eight years as pro, which includes two years on the sidelines for apparently unintentional doping offences.
Galahad’s opponent Cayetano is a benchmark boxer: he’s taken Leo Santa Cruz the 10 round distance but he was stopped by Galahad’s British rival Scott Quigg in nine rounds last December.
A KO performance by the Brit will get the attention of the top featherweights in the world and Paddy is offering 5/4 that Galahad finishes the job before the final bell.
Hardly any of the home fighter’s KOs have come late on and its hard to see Galahad flattening Cayetano inside six rounds. It’s even harder to envisage the visitor getting the upper hand, so it’s another bout likely to be given to a Brit by the judges cards.
Bet of the bout: Galahad to win on points 4/6
*All prices correct at the time of posting