London’s venerable Wembley Arena hosts an IBO world title fight in the super middleweight division this Saturday night (July 15, 2017), as titleholder Chris Eubank Jr. collides with longtime world champion Arthur Abraham in the main event of Poxon Sports’ event. Eubank Jr (24-1) is the controversial son of former middleweight world champion Chris Eubank Sr., and the pair have set their sites on cross-over stardom.
Eubank Sr. makes sure that the team marches to the beat of their own drum and that makes his son one of the most polarizing figures in British boxing. For all their talk, Eubank Jr. is very talented and at 27 years old he is 10 years younger than Abraham. The lone loss of his career came at the hands of Billy Joe Saunders via split decision. Since then, he has gone 6-0 and worked his way up a weight class to the 168-pound division. He has been criticized somewhat for his past choice of opponents, but Abraham is a tall order for Eubank Jr.’s second bout at super middleweight. All six of Eubank Jr.’s wins post-Saunders have come by way of stoppage. If he can get Abraham out of there, he will certainly be sending a message.
Meanwhile, little needs to be said about the resume of Abraham other than it is long, and despite his gym work ethic, he has definitely been slowing down over the last few years. At 46-5, Abraham’s record includes middleweight and super middleweight title reigns that have seen him go a very impressive 18-4 in world title fights. He lost his WBO world title at 168 pounds to Gilberto Ramirez in April of 2016, but he has gone 2-0 since that bout to keep himself relevant.
In support of Eubank Jr. vs Abraham will be IBF world featherweight champion Lee Selby’s latest title defense, as he faces the challenge of Argentina’s Jonathan Victor Barros. For Selby, this will be the fourth title defense of the belt he won back in May of 2015, and he enters as a major betting favorite over Barros. For his part, the Argentine is a former world champion, but he briefly held the WBA featherweight belt back in 2010-2011.
However, the game Barros is riding a seven-fight winning streak that has helped earn him this new shot at a world title. The losses on Barros’ record came to the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mikey Garcia and Celestino Caballero, so he has definitely faced a higher caliber of competition than Selby.
The rest of the card has also appeared at Several Bookmakers, starting with WBA Continental 140-pound champion Robbie Davies Jr. defending his belt against Michal Syrowatka. Davies Jr. is 15-0 as a pro, and this will be the third defense of the WBC Continental belt. He will enter his bout with Poland’s Syrowatka a major favorite, as the 29-year-old Pole is making his first appearance outside of his home country. This is also Syrowatka’s first match scheduled for 12 rounds, so the 29-year-old is looking to take major steps forward with a win. Davies Jr. is a second generation fighter with a long amateur pedigree who feels his game was better suited to the pro ranks.
Also stepping up into more rugged competition is Britain’s undefeated featherweight Kid Galahad (22-0) as he faces Mexico’s tough Jose Cayetano (21-5) for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title. Cayetano brings experience fighting in England, as he faced former world champion Scott Quigg this past December, getting stopped in the ninth round. As such, he is a known and measured quantity, and Galahad and his handlers have been very careful about selecting his opposition. Cayetano is up beyond his optimal weight for this one, as his best days were in the super bantamweight division.
Super featherweights Martin Joseph Ward (17-0-2) and Anthony Cacace (15-0) will meet for the vacant Commonwealth title at 126 pounds as well in the most competitive bout according to oddsmakers. Ward already holds the British title, and here he is looking to add the vacant Commonwealth belt as he continues his way through the typical British progression of regional titles. Cacace comes from Northern Ireland with a perfect record, however, his resume is littered with journeymen. The combined record of his three most experienced opponents is 32-214-9, so Ward is a major jump up in class for Cacace.
These fights are set to air on PPV in the U.K. via ITV Box Office, so check local listings for start times.
Wembley Arena – London, England
Super Middleweight – 12 rounds
Arthur Abraham +700 o9½ -260
Chris Eubank Jr. -1100 u9½ +200
Featherweight – 12 rounds
Jonathan Victor Barros +2000 o9½ -360
Lee Selby -4000 u9½ +270
Super Lightweight – 12 rounds
Michal Syrowatka +650 o9½ -125
Robbie Davies Jr. -1000 u9½ -105
Featherweight – 12 rounds
Jose Cayetano +1000 o9½ -240
Kid Galahad -1500 u9½ +180
Super Featherweight – 12 rounds
Anthony Cacace +135 o9½ -285
Martin Joseph Ward -155 u9½ +225
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