Chris Eubank Jr next fight comes this weekend and will be the first time in the history of UK broadcaster ITV that they will be doing a professional boxing pay per view event.
Whether you like it or not, Chris Eubank Jr will be topping the bill on a pay-per-view show this weekend.
But whether you pay for it or not is an entirely different matter.
It is the first time in the pay-per-view era that I have been required to google a fighter topping the bill on a box office card.
Renold Quinlan 11-1(7KO’s) is the opponent, a fighter who lost to fellow unbeaten fighter Jake Carr in 2014 – Carr has since been stopped in his first appearance in America.
But Quinlan made a name for himself outside his home of Australia when he stunned a faded Daniel Geale last October – a 2nd round KO.
But as always, credit where credit is due, and beating Geale does to some extent make him a viable opponent for Chris Eubank Jr to further continue his prolonged progression.
But for a show that demands viewers fork out an extra tenner, even a stacked undercard doesn’t make it worth it.
At best, the main event is a belter, Joseph Agbeko seriously drags Kid Galahad into deep waters, Adam Etches and John Ryder produce fireworks and Andrew Selby vs Ardin Diale is fought at 100mph, while the Heavyweights serve up a crowd pleasing knockout.
But at worst, Quinlan could be totally outgunned, Agbeko doesn’t let his hands go, Ryder wilts against the bigger Etches, Selby utterly dominates Diale in a drab affair and David Price and Christian Hammer slug it out in an unattractive spectacle.
But to get straight down to the bones of this card, Eubank Jr 23-1(18KO’s) will take his usual fair share of licks during the fight, thrilling the crowd as well as frustrating the purists who are fully aware of just how exceptionally talented he can be.
An ITV box office event is unlikely to be the making of Eubank Jr, but it certainly won’t be the breaking of him.
Quinlan is an honest enough fighter and hard enough hitter to make this a thoroughly enjoyable contest.
But as the fight moves past the halfway stage, Eubank Jr’s stamina will come through as Quinlan tires under the pace.
After yet more punishment is dished out, Eubank Jr will close the show in style, probably doing enough to keep this pay-per-view venture alive – given the right opponent in his next outing.
If Kid Galahad 21-0(12KO’s) is to be seriously tested before entering world class, then Joseph Agbeko 31-5(23KO’s) will need to find more conviction and urgency in his work than he showed when outclassed by Cuban sensation Guillermo Rigondeaux.
On the face of it, defeat to ‘Rigo’ is no disgrace, but Agbeko looked a shell of his former self that night, and another two years on, one must wonder if he has anything left to offer at 36.
Galahad is three out of three after serving his drugs ban, and unless Agbeko stuns him early, should be in for a rather easy night on Saturday.
Galahad can pick up a clear points victory in London.
In the fight of the night – on paper – Adam Etches looks to continue to get his career back on track when he inches closer to world level at Super Middleweight.
Etches 20-1(17KO’s) will look the significantly bigger fighter when John Ryder 23-3(12KO’s) steps up in weight.
Last time out Ryder was beaten on points by Jack Arnfield, and doesn’t look likely to pull off an upset here.
But Etches has been caught cold before, and if unable to dent the high guard of Ryder early, could be forced to dig deep late.
However, Ryder himself has been stopped, and Etches should have the power to force home a stoppage in the second half of a give-and-take contest.
David Price 21-3(18KO’s) will provide plenty of excitement when he steps in the ring with German-Romanian Christian Hammer 20-4(11KO’s).
(David Price returns to the ring for the first time since this win last October in Germany)
While Hammer exacted justice on drugs cheat Erkan Teper last October, he is unlikely to prove a match for a Price in no mood to slow his career down at the age of 33.
Fun while it lasts, but Price should be in control and take Hammer out inside 5 rounds.
Ardin Diale 32-10-4(15KO’s) should give Andrew Selby 7-0(5KO’s) another valuable 12 rounds, but will lose his WBC International Flyweight belt as Selby adds his name to another governing bodies top 15 rankings.