The road to major world title contention leads Chris Eubank Jr. (30-2, 22 KO’s) and German standout Sven Elbir (18-1, 14 KO’s) to London’s SSE Arena Wembley on Saturday, October 2 for a main event showdown which will air live and exclusively on Sky Sports.
Prior to the main event, explosive European Welterweight Champion David Avanesyan (27-3, 15 KO’s) comes off a stoppage win over Josh Kelly and carries his four-KO win streak into a title defence against British challenger Liam Taylor (23-1-1, 11 KO’s), a one-time British and Commonwealth title challenger and unbeaten since 2015.
The card also hosts the return of undefeated former British Cruiserweight Champion Richard Riakporhe (11-0, 8 KO’s). Having been patient in his recovery from the hand injury sustained in his December 2019 win over Jack Massey, Riakporhe is now ready to unleash his energy in pursuit of a world title shot next year
Eubank, former British Middleweight Champion, interim WBA Middleweight World Champion and IBO Super-Middleweight World Champion, is on a quest for legacy-defining fights in 2022, including a long-awaited showdown with all-time great Gennady Golovkin.
Standing in the way of that vision is former WBA International and IBO Continental Middleweight Champion Elbir, a ferocious power-puncher who has stopped five of his last six opponents inside the distance.
Elbir, whose sole professional loss came by way of decision against the still unbeaten Patrick ‘Wolf’ Wojcicki, intends to shatter Eubank’s dreams when they meet at Wembley and thereby blast his own name into the world title conversation.
The fight will be Eubank’s second with Hall of Fame legend Roy Jones Jr as his trainer. The pair cemented their partnership with a dominant decision win over Marcus Morrison earlier this year.
“It feels good to be back on Sky Sports and headlining another big show at The SSE Arena, Wembley,” said Eubank Jr. “I’d like to thank BOXXER and my promoters the Sauerland brothers at Wasserman Boxing for the opportunity.
“My opponent Sven Elbir is a good fighter but if he thinks he can stand in my way – he’s wrong, and he will learn that the hard way. 2022 is going to be a massive year for me. The middleweight division is on notice. The takeover begins on October 2.”
“I have a lot of respect for Chris Eubank Jr but as soon as I hear the first bell it’s time to go to war,” said Elbir. “I’ve been preparing for this fight for 14 years and I’m confident I will win. I’m hungry and coming from the streets, and Eubank Jr is not the same fighter he used to be.”
Avanesyan brought the Wembley crowd to its feet when he stopped Kelly in February and aims to do the same again as he heads into a fourth defence of his European title against Manchester man Taylor.
Taylor has not lost a fight since 2015 and will enter the ring driven by the memory of his 2019 British and Commonwealth welterweight title fight, where almost-certain victory was suddenly snatched from him after an accidental clash of heads ended a fight he was winning comfortably.
Cruiserweight contender Riakporhe has long been one of British boxing’s brightest prospects and has stayed laser-focused during an extended injury layoff which saw him undergo successful surgery on the hand injury sustained in his 2019 December win.
Having vacated the WBA Intercontinental Championship and British Cruiserweight Championship during his hiatus, Riakporhe is now gunning for a world title and intends to kickstart his campaign with a big win in his home city.
A shot at the British Cruiserweight Championship is on the line when London’s Mikael Lawal (13-0,7 KO’s) faces Belfast’s Stephen Ward (13-1, 4 KO’s). This closely-matched eliminator battle will send the winner forward for a shot at a title which has historically proven to be a gateway to the world stage.
A second eliminator bout on the card sees former Southern Area Champion Germaine Brown (9-0, 3 KO’s), fresh off a dominant overseas win over a hometown hero in Belarus, face former Midlands Area Champion Jamal Le Doux (8-1, 4 KO’s) for a shot at the British Super-Middleweight Championship.
Don’t blink when Joe Pigford (17-0, 16 KO’s) enters the ring. The Southampton super-welterweight has only been the distance once in his career – and that was in 2013. With 16 knockouts from 17 professional victories, Pigford’s power-punching is becoming legendary – and has earned him a growing army of fans across the country.
Military veteran Ebonie Jones brings some serious female firepower to the card. The 22-year old Portsmouth native is making her professional debut following a distinguished amateur career which embraced Army championships and a long Team GB tenure during which she narrowly missed out on a place with the Olympic team.
The card also features undefeated former English Middleweight Champion Linus Udofia (16-0, 8 KO’s) who returns hot off the back of a TKO win over John Harding Jr to take on London-based Albanian Xhuljo Vrenozi (17-3, 4 KO’s) over 10 rounds.
“A new era for Sky Sports Boxing starts on October 2 and to kick things off properly we’ve put together a card that has everything. Showcasing the best of British boxing in important fights for their careers and title ambitions,” said Ben Shalom, BOXXER CEO.
“Chris Eubank Jr is on the verge of huge opportunities, but this is only his second fight under Roy Jones Jr. Elbir could upset him here and steal those opportunities away for himself. Liam Taylor hasn’t lost a fight since 2015, he’s on career-best form and he knows he’s going to have to go to war with Avanesyan to take that European title off him.
“The return of Richard Riakporhe will put every cruiserweight in the world on notice – he’s now fully healed from his injuries and gunning for world title opportunities. There’s two big British title eliminator fights, one of the country’s best female talents and more – every fight on the card is outstanding.”
“We’re delighted to have agreed a multi-fight deal with BOXXER to bring Chris Eubank Jr to Sky Sports, which has been the home of UK boxing for the last decade. We look forward to working together to deliver some unforgettable nights for fight fans. We have big plans for Chris Eubank Jr. He’s ready for career defining fights but first he must overcome a tough test against Sven Elbir on October 2,” said Kalle Sauerland, Head of Global Boxing at Wasserman.
UDOFIA AND HARRIS ADDED TO EUBANK JR VS ELBIR UNDERCARD
Rising Middleweight star Linus Udofia (16-0, 8 KOs) and highly-rated Heavyweight debutant Matty Harris have been added to the undercard for Chris Eubank Jr’s showdown with Sven Elbir on October 2 at The SSE Arena, Wembley in London, live and exclusive on Sky Sports.
Udofia returns to Sky Sports following a spectacular ninth-round TKO win over John Harding Jr to retain the English Title on October 10 at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. The 28-year-old will now put his unbeaten record on the line against London-based Albanian Xhuljo Vrenozi (17-3, 4 KOs) over ten rounds.
Having vacated the English Title and signed promotional terms with Wasserman Boxing, ‘Lightning’ is ready to prove his potential on another big card as he looks to move up the rankings into title contention.
“I’ve been out of the ring for a while, but I’ve been working non-stop behind the scenes,” says Udofia. “It’s an honour to be on such an incredible card, it’s time for me to put on a show for the Wembley crowd and put Luton on the map.”
Harris will make his professional debut in a four-round contest at The SSE Arena, Wembley. The 6ft 8in Heavyweight is one of the UK’s most exciting boxing prospects. Having passed the GB assessment, the 21-year-old opted to join the paid ranks instead and spent lockdown sparring the best of the British Heavyweight scene including Daniel Dubois, Hughie Fury and Nathan Gorman.
To ensure he has had the perfect preparation for his debut the Leamington Spa man has been living in a caravan on his coach Edwin Cleary’s drive.
“I’m extremely excited to be making my debut for Wasserman Boxing on Sky Sports on October 2,” said Harris. “The lure of the professional ranks has always been something I was drawn to rather than a lengthy amateur career. Now I get the chance to make my family proud and show my supporters what I’m all about. Believe me when I tell you I’m going all the way to the top.”
Promoter Nisse Sauerland said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Linus and Matty, two of Britain’s brightest boxing prospects, to showcase their skills on the big stage. Linus is a slick fighter with power in both hands and is on the verge of major title challenges. Matty is just starting his journey but he has all the potential in the world and we believe he can go a very long way.”
The road to major world title contention leads Chris Eubank Jr and German standout Sven Elbir to London’s SSE Arena, Wembley on Saturday, October 2. This co-promoted event is the first in a multi-fight deal between Wasserman Boxing and Boxxer to feature Chris Eubank Jr and other fighters from the Wasserman Boxing stable on Sky Sports.
Tickets are available via AXS.com and Ticketmaster.co.uk.