Promoter Kalle Sauerland of Wasserman Boxing has emphasised that the plan is for the outfit’s figurehead fighter Chris Eubank Jr. to fight for a world title before the end of the year.
Eubank Jr, along with Josh Taylor, Vasiliy Lomachenko, Claressa Shields and several others, will feature on Sky TV in future as part of multi-fight deals the UK broadcaster has made with the promotional stables of Wasserman, BOXXER and Top Rank.
Eubank’s last fight was a unanimous decision victory against Marcus Morrison in May. Subsequently, the 31-year-old has been dealing with the tragic and untimely death of his 29-year-old brother Sebastian in Dubai in July after a heart attack.
Now, however, Sauerland insists Eubank (30-2, 22 KOs) is ready to return to action. Prior to a planned world title showdown, he is first due to face Germany’s Sven Elbir (18-1, 14 KOs) on October 2 on a card at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London.
“Yes, Eubank’s back!” Sauerland told Boxing Social. “It’s obviously been a very difficult time for him personally. We’ve had to change the plan a little bit [due to Sebastian Eubank’s death]. But Junior is back now and this fight [against Elbir] is another step towards the realisation of our aim for him to be boxing for the world title later this year. That is still very much the plan.”
Reflecting on the family tragedy that has faced Eubank in the past two months, Sauerland said: “Chris has been exceptionally brave to come back so quickly after this difficult time. Full credit to him. He’s a true professional and a warrior and we’re very excited for him to be on Sky on October 2 against a world ranked opponent.”
Elbir is ranked No.14 at middleweight with the WBA, while Eubank is rated the No.1 contender by the same sanctioning body. Ryota Murata is the WBA’s ‘Super’ champion and Erislandy Lara the ‘Regular’ champion, having now moved up permanently to 160lbs.
Eubank will presumably be aiming for a fight against one of these two fighters, although the situation is currently muddied by the reorganisation of the WBA’s championship structure. The sanctioning body recently removed the ‘Interim champion’ designation from Eubank and 10 other boxers.
There are rumours that Murata may face IBF champion Gennadiy Golovkin in Japan on New Year’s Eve. Lara’s handlers, meanwhile, are said to be seeking a fight with Murata too, as part of the WBA’s plan to remove the ‘Super’ and ‘Regular’ distinctions between champions for which the governing body have received frequent criticism.
Where Eubank will fit into the WBA title puzzle it will be fascinating to see.