Chris Eubank Jr. will make his U.S. debut on Saturday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, taking on Matt Korobov for the interim WBA world middleweight title.
Eubank (28-2, 21 KOs) is returning to the 160-pound ranks after spending a couple of years at 168 pounds. He lost a super middleweight unification bout to George Groves in February 2018, but he was able to handily defeat James DeGale in a decision win a year later.
Saturday's fight gives the 30-year-old Englishman an opportunity to re-establish himself at middleweight.
Korobov (28-2-1, 14 KOs) is looking to bounce back after losing to Jermall Charlo in December 2018 and then fighting to a draw with Immanuwel Aleem in May.
The Showtime card is packed with action. Charlo (29-0, 21 KOs) will be defending his WBC world middleweight title against Dennis Hogan (28-2-1 7 KOs), while Marlon Tapales (33-2, 16 KOs) will take on Ryosuke Iwasa (26-3, 16 KOs) for the interim IBF world super bantamweight title.
Here's how to watch.
Eubank Jr. vs. Korobov Fight Info
When: Saturday, Dec. 7 at 9 p.m. ET (main card)
Where: Barclays Center in Brooklyn
TV: Showtime (US)
Live stream: Showtime Anytime (US)
Odds: Eubank Jr. -225 (bet $225 to win $200), Korobov +225 (bet $100 to win $225)
Odds are courtesy of Oddschecker and updated as of Thursday, Dec. 5 at 7 a.m. ET.
The last time we saw Eubank, he was cruising past DeGale in a 168-pound interim title matchup in February.
Eubank knocked the 33-year-old down in the second round en route to a solid victory on the cards. It was a solid win for Eubank, but DeGale was clearly on the decline and unable to handle his fresher, younger opponent.
Korobov, 36, is older than DeGale, but he might have more left in the tank. The Russian-born boxer was better than expected as a late replacement fighting Charlo in 2018, showing he was up for the challenge and unbothered by the stakes.
He's a betting underdog against Eubank but still has his backers. According to BoxingNewOnline.net's Elliot Worsell, former middleweight champion Andy Lee, who beat Korobov in a tough championship bout in 2014, thinks his old foe can defeat Eubank.
An upset would derail Eubank's plans to win a title at 160 pounds. He already has his sights set on Charlo, per TalkSport's Michael Benson:
Michael Benson @MichaelBensonn
🎯 Chris Eubank Jr has declared that his goal is to challenge Jermall Charlo for the WBC middleweight title after they both fight on Dec 7th: "I believe I'm a far superior fighter to that man and I'm sure I'll be able to showcase my skills against him within the next six months." https://t.co/tnwyaCBYgf
Charlo knows Eubank is coming for him and is dismissive of his plans.
"He wanted to talk himself into a fight with me or someone bigger because he is running out of time. Like he ran out of gas, he is going to run out of time and before you know it, I’m going to be right there in his face," he said, per BoxingNews24.com.
The way these two are talking, it seems like Saturday's card is designed to build up hype for a clash that would draw strong interest on both sides of the Atlantic. However, there's no guarantee it will all come together.
Few expect Hogan to take down the undefeated Charlo, but he's not a pushover and anything can happen in the ring.
If Eubank can come out firing as he did against DeGale and maintain focus in the later rounds, he should be able to get past a tricky Korobov. His game plan has to be solid and well-executed, because Korobov has shown he's talented enough to give top boxers plenty to think about.