STAR PREVIEW Sat: Chris Eubank Jr v Anatoli Muratov

It’s the start of a new era for Sky Sports Boxing as they begin life without Eddie Hearn this weekend. The platform announced a good stable of fighters recently and it is no surprise that Chris Eubank Jr is the fighter they want to lead the new generation. The 32-year-old is a former world title challenger and he takes on Anatoli Muratov this weekend at Wembley Arena.

Eubank Jr (30-2) has fought some top opposition throughout his career but it is fair to say he has not yet reached the heights that people initially thought he would. Despite winning a minor IBO title, he has stepped up to face credible opposition (George Groves & Billy Joe Saunders) twice and been beaten both times. The worrying thing for the Brighton man is that he is getting no younger as he creeps towards his mid-thirties.

However, the two-time world title challenger is now training under the watchful eye of the legendary Roy Jones Jr and linking up with such a legend of the game can only be viewed as a huge bonus. His first fight under Jones was against Marcus Morrison back in May and Eubank did show signs of improvement during that fight. He also got some valuable rounds under his belt so that he could show the things he had been working on in the gym, which was perhaps the most important thing.

Anatoli Muratov is not the household name that Eubank Jr needs but he does arrive in the UK with four stoppages in his last six fights and as a late replacement, he brings a certain degree of surprise to the ring. However, the German is 33 with a record of 24-2-1 and both his losses came by knockout, which is a huge worry heading into a fight with someone like Eubank Jr.

Eubank Jr is an overwhelming favourite here and should be able to end this one whenever he chooses. He is the far superior fighter and has enough power to get rid of Muratov early. Don’t expect Eubank to look for many rounds here and a price of 11/10 for less than 3 rounds to be completed is decent value.

The chief support on the bill is a European title fight between champion David Avanesyan and Liam Taylor at welterweight. Avanesyan is one of the most avoided fighters in the entire division and his six-round destruction of Josh Kelly back in February proved the British based Russian is a real force at 147lb.

That win over Kelly was the third defence of his EBU title and with every passing performance Avanesyan seems to be getting better and more powerful. Despite being 33, Avanesyan is in the form of his career and heads into this fight with Taylor as a huge 1/14 favourite.

The odds in this fight probably underestimate the quality of Liam Taylor and odds of 7/1 he is a huge price in this one. Taylor brings a record of 23-1-1 (11KO) and his one defeat was back in 2015 against the very capable Tyrone Nurse.

Avanesyan is the clear favourite to win this and he is also 3/10 to win by knockout which is priced on the fact he has knocked out his previous four opponents, all in very devastating fashion. However, Taylor has never been stopped in his career and he does hold some distinct physical advantages. It looks very difficult for Taylor to win this one but Avanesyan by decision at (7/2) is overpriced.

The rest of the undercard doesn’t feature many competitive but it does feature some notable names such as Richard Riakporhe who is returning for the first time since 2019. He takes on Krzysztof Twardowski who is overmatched here but he has never been stopped and should be able to give Riakporhe some much needed rounds. At least six rounds to be completed at 11/8 could be a bet to keep an eye on.

RECOMMENDED BETS
BACK Less than 3 rounds completed in Eubank Jr vs Muratov 2pts at 11/10 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK David Avanesyan by decision 1 pt at 7/2 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)
BACK At least six rounds completed in Riakporhe vs Twardowski 1pt at 11/8 (Latest Star Price ? CLICK TO BET NOW)


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