Chris Eubank Jr. (-550) vs Arthur Abraham (+480), Draw (+2800)
Chris Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19 KOs) faces his first real test at super-middleweight next Saturday (July 15th) when he puts his IBO title on the line against three-time, two-weight champ Arthur Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs). The winner will also earn a spot at the inaugural World Boxing Super Series (September-October 2017).
In February, Chris Eubank Jr. made the questionable decision to leave the bustling middleweight division to take on Renold Quinlan for the IBO super-middleweight title, easily stopping the Aussie in 10 rounds. After the fight, he called out some big-name middleweights — Gennady Golovkin, James DeGale, and Billy Joe Saunders (who narrowly beat him back in 2014) — but first, he’ll have to make a title defense against Abraham.
Abraham was a great middleweight back in the day, but old age forced him to move up in weight and the 37-year-old just hasn’t been the same since. After 11 successful defenses of his IBO middleweight title, he decided to take his unblemished fight record (30-0 at the time) to 168 pounds.
He claimed his first super-middleweight world title against fellow German Robert Stieglitz in 2012, but lost it in a rematch the following year. He reclaimed the WBO title from Stieglitz in a trilogy fight the next year, and defeated him once more in 2015.
But then in 2016, he suffered a heavy loss to Gilberto Ramírez, who picked him apart in all 12 rounds (120-108 on all scorecards). The fight revealed a depleted and well-worn fighter, and his future outlook didn’t look too promising.
He’s went on to win his next two fights against lower-tier opponents — Tim-Robin Lihaug and Robin Krasniqi, fighting well and winning convincingly; but that was expected.
Eubank Jr. is a rising star in British boxing, and is eager for a chance to prove himself. As the son of a boxing legend, he has some big shoes to fill. Abraham isn’t a world-class fighter anymore, but he’s still one of the tougher opponents Jr’s been matched with.
Because of his padded record, Eubank Jr. is probably given more praise than he deserves. He’s had one tough opponent to date, Billy Joe Saunders, whom he lost to. As an untested fighter, his hype exceeds his record.
After 51 professional fights and 14 years in the game, Arthur Abraham isn’t the fighter he once was. But he’s still the bigger puncher and he has a lot more experience fighting at super-middleweight. Eubank Jr. is a newcomer to the weight class and arguably still a rookie after 25 fights.
If you love a great underdog story, this is the time to put your money where your mouth is. Let it ride on old man Abraham!
Pick: Arthur Abraham (+480)