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Boxing | International

Eubank Jr to be tested



Chris Eubank Jr possibly faces the toughest fight of his career when he defends his IBO super-middleweight belt against Avri Yildirim at the Hanns-Martin Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany on Saturday night.

This fight will also be part of the World Boxing Super Series.

The 28-year-old Eubank Jr, 25-1;19, from Brighton, England has a flashy style and showed that he can fight when, on July 15, he beat the vastly experienced former world middleweight and super-middleweight champion, Arthur Abraham, in a World Boxing Super Series eliminator.

Many of observers are of the opinion that Chris Eubank Sr, who manages his son, has taken a gamble by letting him meet Yildirim, 26, of Turkey, who has a record of 16-0; 10.

Yildirim is a rugged fighter who is reported to have given James DeGale, the IBF super-middleweight champion, a hard time during sparring sessions and has a points win over the veteran 46-year-old, Glen Johnson. In his most recent fight he outpointed the capable Marco Antonio Periban.

The Turk is a come-forward fighter who likes working in close, throwing short hooks to the body and uppercuts, but he has not been tested at world championship level.

This fight, which in world terms could be rated as Grade B, could be a difficult one to pick a winner as Eubank may be completely outboxed by Yildirin, but then he could rise the occasion and win in a spectacular fashion.

ANTHONY CROLLA V RICKY BURNS

On Saturday at the Manchester Arena, Ricky Burns from Coatbridge, Scotland and Anthony Crolla of Manchester, England meet in a clash of former world champions in a lightweight 12-rounder

The 34-year-old Burns has held the WBO junior-lightweight and lightweight and WBA junior-welterweight belts, and Crolla, 30, the WBA lightweight belt.

This is a must-win for both fighters to put their careers on track for another crack at a world title.

Most pundits favour the younger Crolla, 31-6-3; 13, to win on points in an entertaining fight against Burns who has a record of 41-6-1; 14.

On the undercard Stourbridge’s Sam Eggington, 21-3; 13, defends his European welterweight title against Frenchman Mohamed Mimoune, 18-2; 2.

ANDREW SELBY V MAXIMO FLORES

Also on Saturday Welshman Andrew Selby, 9-0; 5, faces Mexico’s Maximo Flores, 23-3-1-2nc (16), over 12 rounds in a WBC flyweight title eliminator at the York Hall in Bethnal Green London.

Selby is ranked number three and Flores at 15 by the WBC.



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