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Eubank to fight Yildirim Oct. 7 in Germany

The World Boxing Super Series quarterfinal bout between super middleweights Chris Eubank Jr. and Avni Yildirim will take place Oct. 7 at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart, Germany, organizers announced Tuesday.

The match was set during the draft for the single-elimination eight-man tournament on July 8 in Monte Carlo, but now the site is set with England’s Eubank taking on Turkey’s Yildirim in Germany, where Yildirim has boxed regularly.

“I don’t mind about fighting in Germany,” Eubank said. “I honestly don’t mind where I fight. I could be fighting in a phone box. It really doesn’t matter to me as long as I get the win. That’s all I care about.”

Chris Eubank Sr. selected the unseeded Yildirim as the opponent during the draft, where the elder Eubank represented his son and former world titleholder Arthur Abraham, who were training for their July 15 fight. Eubank Jr. won that bout and was awarded the No. 3 seed and the final spot in the super middleweight field.

“Yildirim’s chin hasn’t been tested,” Eubank Jr. said. “I will test it to the absolute limit and if it has even the slightest bit of weakness, he won’t last six rounds.”

Yildirim (16-0, 10 KOs), 26, said he was pleased the bout was scheduled to take place in Germany, where he has fought 10 times.

“I am very happy that the fight is in Stuttgart because for me it is like a second Turkey,” Yildirim said. “Training is going great. I know what I have to do. I have been training really hard already. I am fully focused on this. Chris should be too.”

The 27-year-old Eubank (25-1, 19 KOs) is training for the fight in Floyd Mayweather’s training camp in Las Vegas, where Mayweather is preparing for his Aug. 26 boxing match with UFC star Conor McGregor in what Mayweather says will be his final bout.

“I have trained with Floyd and the Money Team on and off for years now,” Eubank said. “It is Floyd’s last-ever training camp and I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be a part of that. So I booked my flight and I’ll be at the Mayweather Boxing Gym until the beginning of September. I will be ringside for the big fight against McGregor. I haven’t been this intrigued to watch a fight in years. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen and that’s what I think makes it so appealing.”

Yildirim was not impressed that Eubank is training with Mayweather.

“What is Chris going to learn there, apart from hide-and-seek? I like Mayweather. He is a special guy, but Eubank is not Mayweather,” Yildirim said. “Seriously, what is he going to learn from a welterweight, to run away for 12 rounds? The fans want a fight, I want a fight. If he is man enough, me versus Chris will be a good fight.”

The first super middleweight quarterfinal is scheduled for Sept. 16 at Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, where No. 2 seed and hometown fighter Callum Smith (22-0, 17 KOs) will face Sweden’s unseeded Erik Skoglund (26-0, 12 KOs).

Super middleweight world titleholder George Groves (26-3, 19 KOs), the No. 1 seed, will face unseeded British countryman Jamie Cox (23-0, 13 KOs) on Oct. 14 at SSE Wembley Arena in London in the second quarterfinal. The quarterfinal between No. 4 Juergen Braehmer (48-3, 35 KOs), a former light heavyweight world titleholder from Germany, and Minnesota’s Rob Brant (22-0, 15 KOs) has yet to be scheduled.

The World Boxing Super Series also has an eight-man tournament set for the cruiserweight division. The quarterfinals will pit No. 1 Oleksandr Usyk (12-0, 10 KOs) of Ukraine in a world title defense against former titleholder Marco Huck (40-4-1, 27 KOs) of Germany on Sept. 9 at Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin. No. 2 Murat Gassiev (24-0, 17 KOs) of Russia will defend his title against Polish mandatory challenger Krzysztof Wlodarczyk (53-3-1, 37 KOs) at a location and date to be determined.

No. 3 Mairis Briedis (22-0, 18 KOs) of Latvia will defend his belt against Ireland-based Cuban defector Mike Perez (22-2-1, 14 KOs) on Sept. 30 at Riga Arena in Riga, Latvia; and No. 4 Yunier Dorticos (21-0, 20 KOs), a Miami-based Cuban defector, defends his title against “The Russian Hammer” Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1, 21 KOs), with location and date to be determined.

The 16 fighters in the two tournaments will divvy up $50 million in prize money. After the quarterfinals take place in September and October, the semifinals are supposed to take place in early 2018 with the finals ticketed for May 2018. An American television deal for both tournaments has not yet been worked out.

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