The bout was rumored for weeks, and now the super middleweight showdown between Chris Eubank Jr and Arthur Abraham has an official fight date, venue and hosting network.
Event handlers have confirmed the 12-round clash to take place July 15 at the SSE Arena in London, England, it was formally announced during a press conference in country on Wednesday. The bout will headline a full card to air live on ITV Box Office in the United Kingdom.
A well-traveled boxer over the course of his career, the 37-year old Abraham (46-5, 30KOs) - a former middleweight and super middleweight titlist - surprisingly makes his first career appearance in the United Kingdom.
I’m very happy to have the opportunity to fight here in England," noted Abraham during Wednesday's press conference. "The UK boxing fans are amongst the best in the World, and I look forward to putting on a great show on July 15."
The upcoming clash will mark his third ring appearance since conceding his super middleweight title to Gilberto Ramirez last April. He's since won two in a row, although coming against middling competition.
Still, it is Eubank Jr. (24-1, 19KOs) who steps up in class in taking on the most experience opponent of his young career. The second-generation boxer - whose father Chris Sr. served as a former two-division titlist and an integral part of the 1990s UK boxing scene - has won six in a row since suffering his lone loss as a pro, a 12-round split decision to Billy Joe Saunders in Nov. '14.
Saunders has since gone on to capture a middleweight belt, but talks of a rematch never really traveled far. Eubank Jr. - through his overbearing father - has been strangely selective in his level of opposition over the past few years, boasting solid wins but manages to fall short when it comes to delivering on fights he so often discusses in public.
Chief among the missed opportunities was the chance to land a title shot versus unbeaten, unified middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin last September. The two sides agreed to terms, but the British boxer - now campaigning at super middleweight - had second thoughts when it came time to put ink to paper.
He's since resurfaced to score a 10th round knockout of Renold Quinlan this past February, and now looks to turn away the challenge of a former four-time titlist in Abraham.
"‘Arthur Abraham has my respect,’’ said Eubank Jr. ‘’He has done what he’s done in his career, but now it’s my time. I have been preparing my whole life to fight the best, and now, I have the opportunity to fight one of the top super middleweights in the World, and to really make my mark on the division.
‘’Abraham is a strong, come forward fighter, but he’s one-dimensional. He’s very good in that one dimension, but a one-dimensional fighter cannot beat me. I see a lot of holes in his game and I’m going to exploit those holes ruthlessly.”