Report/Video/Photos: Tony Mayger/Ringtone Boxing
It was supposed to be a media workout, an opportunity for photographers and journalists to gather images of boxer ahead of the second quarter-final showdown for the Muhammad Ali Trophy. Unfortunately, technical difficulties forced a change from workout to hastily arranged press conference ahead of this Saturday’s eagerly awaited contest between Britain’s Chris Eubank Junior and unbeaten Turkish prospect, Avni Yildirim.
Eubank Junior and his team were due to attend but cancelled at the 11th hour citing security concerns. According to Ahmet Oner, Yildirim’s manager and trainer, Eubank Senior expressed concerns for Juniors’ safety in a crowd of majority Turkish support for Yildirim.
“He [Junior] shows a little bit of disrespect to the organisation, to us personally and to my fans, especially his father last night, he said ‘oh I don’t know, my son is in danger, dangerous people, hooligans’ but you saw them, they are all nice, cool guys” explained Oner, translating for Yildirim. “He’s arrogant, respectless, very bad behavior. It’s not nice.”
26-year old Yildirim faces Eubank in the second quarter final in the super middleweight division of the World Boxing Super Series. The reward for the victor, a semi-final against either George Groves or Jamie Cox.
Callum Smith is already through to the other semi-final after edging out Erik Skogland in a close fight three weeks ago. He now waits to find out whether he’ll face Juergen Braehmer or Robert Brant for a place in the final.
27-year old Eubank Junior, the hard-hitting IBO belt holder is the favourite but Yildirim, with his come-forward, front foot style will be no push-over. He is the WBC International Champion and has scored impressive wins over Jamaican Glen Johnson and most recently a unanimous decision over Marco Antonio Periban in Mexico, stretching his record to 16-0.
The fight will take place in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle on Saturday October 7th.
Also in action are former world cruiserweight champion Firat Arslan, German olympic team member Stefan Haertel, Denis Radovan, Timo Schwarzkopf, Emre Cukur, Zack Parker, Leon Bauer, Burak Sahin and 22-year old heavyweight prospect Albon Pervizaj.
Photo of Arslan, Yildirim, Haertel and Pervizaj