CHRIS EUBANK JNR is set to challenge Renold Quinlan for the IBO super-middleweight strap at the London Olympia on February 4, live and exclusive on ITV’s new pay-per-view platform at a cost of £12-95.
The event – which has been hit by criticism amid rumours of collapse – will be promoted by Richard Poxon, and is also set to feature heavyweight contender David Price vs Christian Hammer, with former European super-bantamweight champion Kid Galahad slated to appear as he moves up to the featherweight division in the hope of snaring a shot at IBF boss, Lee Selby, later in the year. The undercard will also include the enticing clash between John Ryder and Adam Etches at middleweight.
The Chris Eubank Jnr vs Ronald Quinlan contest – which was formally announced on the London Eye just before Christmas – has met plenty of criticism, thanks to the Box Office platform, the lightly regarded IBO title, Quinlan being largely unknown, and subsequent delays in details being released to the media. Factors like the venue, ticket information, ppv cost, and the undercard were not immediately forthcoming, and resulted in speculation that the whole event had been canned.
Those rumours increased when Australia’s Quinlan – whose wife is expecting a child on January 24 – publicly criticised the promotion during an interview with Mirror Sport: “It’s only a few weeks away and I’ve got the feeling that it’s going to be delayed,” he said. “There’s been no media around it and it’s not getting the exposure it should be. I’ve been training well but I’m not 100 per cent focused now. I have a feeling it’s going to get pulled.”
However, Quinlan’s manager, Matt Rose, has subsequently promised that his fighter will board a plane to the UK on January 23 and be fit to fight.
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There was talk of delaying the contest, but ITV are adamant the event goes ahead on February 4 as planned, to coincide with their coverage of the Sx Nations rugby match between England and France. Another reason for the delay is believed to be the venue. The esteemed John Wischusen – an unsung hero who played a huge part in Matchroom’s success as their Head of Boxing before his switch to Poxon Sports last year – expressed concern about the proposed London Velodrome because it had never hosted boxing before. Consequently, the London Olympia, which holds approximately 3,500, was decided to be a better venue.
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On the undercard, Liverpool’s Price, 21-3 (18), is set for an intriguing eliminator with Romania-born German, Christian Hammer. Hammer, 29 years old and 20-4 (11), has worked his way back into contention following a 2014 stoppage loss to Tyson Fury, and in his most recent bout he earned a 10-round decision over the disgraced Erkan Teper in October. Price, 33, has history with Teper too; the German was banned from the sport for one year after a cocktail of performance enhancing drugs were found in his system following a knockout ‘victory’ over Price in 2015.
Kid Galahad, 26, has won three since his own PED-related suspension in 2015, and is also expected to appear as he moves into the featherweight division. Boxing News believe the long-term plan for the Sheffield star is a shot at IBF champion, Lee Selby.
Definitely featuring is a middleweight crossroads clash between Sheffield’s 25-year-old Adam Etches, 20-1 (17) and Islington’s 28-year-old John Ryder, 23-3 (12).
Tickets are priced at £40, £50, £80, £100, £150 and £250 (VIP) and available via seetickets.com (01925-755222)
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