CHRIS EUBANK JR’S fight tonight has been called off. It was announced on the day of the contest at the SSE Arena in Wembley that his opponent Anatoli Muratov had failed a medical.
It’s another unfortunate twist after his original opponent contracted Covid at the start of this week and Muratov had to be brought in at short notice.
It’s a blow for the show, which is the first boxing bill Sky Sports have televised as part of their new set up without Matchroom Boxing, but Eubank is expecting to get a new date in the coming weeks.
“The fight is off my opponent failed a medical exam. I’ll now box later this month. Apologies to everyone that bought tickets. Nobody is more disappointed than me,” Eubank said. “Life continues to throw these obstacles at me but I’m a man of faith. In the end everything will work out how it’s supposed to.”
The show however goes on and the rest of the bill still contains good bouts. David Avanesyan, now the main event, defends his European welterweight title against Liam Taylor. This is the Nottinghamshire-based Russian’s first fight since his superb sixth-round stoppage of Josh Kelly back in February, as he plots his path towards a shot at a belt.
There was once talk of a showdown with Conor Benn and, though greatly appealing, that fight now seems exceptionally unlikely. So “Ava” is taking on a different Brit in the form of Liam Taylor instead. Victories over the likes of Darren Tetley and Tyrone Nurse, as well as a draw in his challenge for Chris Jenkins’ British title two years ago, have proved his credentials as a very capable domestic level fighter and now he gets his chance to make a step beyond that.
But Avanesyan remains a nightmare for anybody at the weight, and stoppage for the Carl Greaves-trained Russian, somewhere between six and nine, seems like a safe bet.
Another man who will be at the forefront of Sky’s new product is Londoner Richard Riakporhe who has slowly but surely scythed down most of the domestic 200lb division. Over the course of 13 months, he beat Sam Hyde, Tommy McCarthy, Chris Billam-Smith and Jack Massey to stake his claim as the man to beat at cruiserweight in this country.
He has not boxed, however, since December 2019 and will hope to be more busy as part of the new Sky set-up. The 9-2 Polishman Krzysztof Twardowski will not know what has hit him and will be lucky to manage three rounds here.
Another of Sky’s exciting unbeaten signings Germaine Brown faces Jamal Le Doux over 10 rounds as he bids to build on his 8-0 record, which includes a victory over Dmitrii Chudinov on his last time out. That night he travelled to Minsk, Belarus and dropped the Russian en route to a UD over eight.
In the final 10-rounder of this card Linus Udofia, a real favourite of the small hall circuit, takes on 17-3 Italy-based Albanian Xhuljo Vrenozi.