New opportunities for prestige beckon, but will the father and son duo turn their back on them once again?
In the recent weeks, the talk of the boxing stratosphere (minus Mayweather – McGregor) has been centered around the innovative and refreshing new tournament format called the World Boxing Super Series. The brain child of a mix of promoters and wealthy investors sees 16 participants spread over two weight divisions (8 in each division) battle it out in a tournament format for huge prize money and a chance to stake their claim as the premier fighter at their weight.
This Saturday saw the introductory gala take place in Monaco. A glitzy red carpet affair where four seeded fighters from both represented divisions (based on their reputation and record) chose their first round opponents from the remaining unseeded fighters.
Forever the helpless eccentric, Chris Eubank Sr – representing his son, when instructed stepped up to the podium, beamed a smile and pointed in the direction of Jr’s potential first round opponent.
That man is the undefeated Turkish Super Middleweight Anvi Yildrim. A high volume, relentless pressure fighter tipped as a potential dark horse in the tournament, despite only possessing the likes of Marco Antonio Periban on his ledger as of now (in addition to James Degale’s front teeth in sparring). With that said, the prospect of a Eubank Jr – Yildrim showdown is one that fight fans should welcome, owing to both men having age on their sides and their reckless high-action fighting styles.
However for Jr. there remains the obstacle of being victorious in his second fight of 2017 this weekend in London. After months of parading his lowly regarded IBO Super Middleweight title belt and passing sweeping judgements on his domestic rivals, Eubank puts said belt on the line versus the veteran former 2-weight world champion Arthur Abraham. War is promised by both men, however Abraham’s advancing years and low output style leave him placed as a sizeable underdog here.
This fight has been praised in some circles as a great one, however the only greatness is to be seen in the foresight of the matchmakers to pair these two together. A win for Abraham adds extra mileage to an already successful career, whereas Eubank has the objective of getting the job done inside the distance to send a message to detractors and rivals alike.
But beyond Saturday evening, provided Eubank prevails as expected, there will still be many questions to be asked of the 27 year old (and his father) both in and outside of the squared circle.
The Super Middleweight bracket of the World Boxing Super Series is such that Eubank could stake a case for walking away as the winner, however skeptics near and far would be justified in doubting his committal to this format. Most of the participants are jumping at opportunities they couldn’t fathom getting near months ago.
But in entering this field, the Eubank’s are merely walking back into the sea of opportunities which have been prevalent throughout their career. The likes of Groves, Smith, Degale and Cox were all available in the past and proposals were either never entertained or met with radio silence, and yet we are meant to believe that everything will go swimmingly now?
Their history of leaving (actual) belts and millions on the table is well documented, and it is such history which would leave many unsurprised if they pulled the plug on this latest venture. The Eubank’s will forever divide opinion and constantly choose to operate by their own playbook, but the low-profile talent pool will not be hindered by their influence and involvement. Just as Junior will not be hindered by finally putting his money where his mouth is and going towards legitimate challenges instead of walking in the other direction once again.