By News Team
30th September 2021
Chris Eubank Jr will headline the start of a new era as BOXXER launch their first card alongside Sky Sports, with the hope of creating top class British boxing bills throughout the year and helping grow the sport in the UK.
He’ll take on German contender Anatoli Muratov, who stepped in on short notice to replace compatriot Sven Elbir, who was forced to withdraw.
Eubank may well be looking to use this as a stepping stone to set up big fights with the likes of Billy Joe Saunders, Gennady Golovkin and Demtrius Andrade, but he won’t be overlooking his opponent, who has a competent record in his career to date.
Eubank ready to make the next step?
Whilst the boxing heritage and potential of Chris Eubank Jr, son of former two-weight world champion Chris Eubank Sr, has never been up for discussion, his career to date has been somewhat two steps forward, one step back.
After racking up an 18-0 start to his career, he was beaten via split decision against Saunders, before recovering with another eight-fight winning run. He was then beaten by George Groves, before becoming a two-time IBO super-middleweight champion.
Having since returned to middleweight under the tutelage of the great Roy Jones Jr, he claimed the WBA interim middleweight belt by beating Matt Korobov in December 2019. Having fought just once more since then, a win over Marcus Morrison, Eubank Jr is keen to pick up his activity and stake his claim as one of the top fighters in the division.
He begins that charge against 33-year-old Muratov, who will very much be looking at this as the biggest fight of his career, and a chance to make a huge statement against a big name. He has spent most of career fighting in the sports halls across Europe, and whilst he has been defeated twice via KO in his career thus far, he’s unbeaten in 13 fights since losing to Phillip Kolodziej in 2014. He’s currently ranked number seven by WBA, but in truth this is a massive step-up in class for him, and he’ll have to bounce back physically, given that his last fight was on September 18th.
Particularly given the late opponent change, but also that he wants to set up some bigger fights in the future, Eubank will looking for a statement performance capped with a finish. He’s currently 1/12 to win via TKO/KO or DQ, with a decision victory coming in at 7/1. Muratov on the other hand may look to take this one the distance and is 66/1 to land an unlikely victory on the cards.
The rest of the card
Elsewhere on the card, the powerful David Avanesyan will defend his European welterweight title against Britain’s Liam Taylor. Avanesyan is a former world title challenger looking to climb the ladder once again, whilst Taylor is unbeaten in 13 fights dating back to 2015.
London-based cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe also returns to action to face Poland’s Krzysztof Twardowski in a scheduled ten round bout. Riakporhe is the betting favourite at 1/20, with Twardowski available at 9/1.