Abraham-Eubank Jr. bout formally announced

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Former two-time super middleweight world titleholder Arthur Abraham will square off with Chris Eubank Jr. on July 15 at the SSE Wembley Arena in London.

The fighters, appearing together at a news conference on Wednesday in London, announced the 12-round bout, which will be for Eubank’s minor belt.

Abraham, also a former middleweight titleholder, is sitting as the mandatory challenger for world titleholder Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez but opted for this fight instead, perhaps because he was thoroughly outclassed by Ramirez when he lost his title to him by shutout decision in Las Vegas in April 2016.

Abraham (46-5, 30 KOs), 37, of Germany, has won two fights in a row since, including a decision over Robin Krasniqi on April 22 in a title elimination fight to become Ramirez’s mandatory challenger.

Nonetheless, he and promoter Team Sauerland opted to travel to Eubank’s home turf for the fight, which will headline an ITV Box Office pay-per-view card in the United Kingdom.

“I’m very happy to be fighting here in England,” Abraham said. “I’m looking forward to it, and I think it will be a good fight.”

Eubank (24-1, 19 KOs), 27, who is the son of 1990s British star and former middleweight and super middleweight world titleholder Chris Eubank Sr., will be taking on by far the biggest name of his career.

“I respect every fighter. Anyone who enters the ring has my respect, but it’s my time now,” Eubank said. “I’m the next generation.”

Last fall Eubank was heavily criticized for turning down a big-money offer to challenge unified middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin for his belts in London. Eubank instead moved up to super middleweight and knocked out little-known Renold Quinlan, of Australia, in the 10th round in February in a much smaller bout. The fight with Abraham will be his second as a super middleweight.

Eubank has won six fights in a row since his only loss, a split decision to bitter rival Billy Joe Saunders for the European, British and Commonwealth middleweight titles in November 2014; Saunders went on to win a middleweight world title.

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