Chris Eubank Jr v Anatoli Muratov: Junior's speed and power will see him past replacement

Boxer Chris Eubank Jr
Chris Eubank Jr remains focussed despite a late change of opponent

Eubank Jr has admitted he knows very little about late replacement Muratov but Betfair's boxing betting expert Frankie Monkhouse expects him to work it out early...

"Even with a full training camp and plenty of notice, it would be difficult to get excited about the German fighter’s chances of causing an upset."

Chris Eubank Jr v Sven Elbir
Saturday, 22:00
Live on Sky Sports

Eubank headlines at Wembley

On Saturday, Chris Eubank Jr headlines an intriguing card at Wembley Arena when the Englishman battles Germany's Anatoli Muratov over 12 rounds. This will be Junior's second outing of the year, and he knows he must score an impressive win if he is to push himself back into contention for the big fights at middleweight.

Despite going in on the back of a strong winning run, Eubank looks no closer to the division's top names than he did when beating James DeGale at the O2 Arena in February 2019.

That will be a source of frustration for all connected to Team Eubank, and the Brighton boxer will aim to take it out on his German opponent in front of a big crowd.

Junior boasts a winning run

Eubank enters this weekend's test with a 30-2-0 record, 22 of those victories coming by way of knockout. The 32-year-old's only previous defeats came against long-term rival Billy Joe Saunders on a split decision in 2014 and George Groves in a super middleweight world title fight in 2018. Since losing to Saint George, Eubank has fought four, won four and scored two knockouts. That fine run includes a famous points win over DeGale, sending Chunky to the canvas on two occasions.

Despite many fighters struggling to get work this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions placed on the sport, this will be the second outing of 2021 for Chris. His previous bout resulted in a 10-round points decision win over Manchester's Marcus Morrison in May. Many pundits had predicted a knockout but the six rounds winning margin on all three cards shows just how comfortable the victor was that night.

The pre-fight betting odds available on the Betfair Exchange throw up no surprises, with Eubank a red-hot favourite. He is 1.041/25 for the win, which means backers are forced to go on the hunt for value. In the method of victory betting, a KO/TKO is 1.071/14 with a points win 1211/1.

He'll take his time working out the opponent but should get things done and dusted early. I'll back Eubank in rounds 3-4 at 2.77/4

Anatoli saves the show

Anatoli stepped in to save the show after Eubank's original opponent was forced to withdraw due to illness. A late replacement is always a danger to the opponent and the bettors, as we don't know how much notice Muratov has had and how fit he is.

The German-based fighter is a 33-year-old born in Kazakhstan but he's no Gennady Golovkin. He brings a record of 24 wins against two defeats and a draw with 17 KOs scored at a much lower level than he'll face on Saturday. Muratov is ranked 12th of 46 fighters at his weight in Germany and that tells us a story. He's 155th in the world.

Even with a full training camp and plenty of notice, it would be difficult to get excited about the German fighter's chances of causing an upset. He looks to be in way over his head and that should show early. Those who do want to back him can take the 26.025/1 offered on the Sportsbook.

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