Chris Eubank Jr vs Anatoli Muratov, the main event of Saturday’s Sky Sports Fight Night, has been cancelled after the British Boxing Board of Control raised concerns over Muratov’s pre-fight medicals, BOXXER officials confirmed to GIVEMESPORT.
Muratov (24-2-1, 17 KOs), 33, had initially been drafted in as a last-minute replacement on short notice to replace Eubank Jr’s original opponent, Sven Elbir, after the German tested positive for coronavirus.
However, medical testing revealed an area of concern which required further examination that will take at least several weeks to complete and thus he was denied a license to compete, forcing the board to cancel tonight’s bout.
A source close to Eubank Jr told GIVEMESPORT the former WBA interim middleweight champion was deeply frustrated by the situation.
BOXXER promoter Ben Shalom stressed that the health and safety of the boxers is of the utmost importance to all the parties involved and expressed his deepest sympathies to Eubank Jr, who recently lost his brother Sebastian in tragic circumstances earlier this year.
He has not fought since his victory over Marcus Morrison in Manchester on May 1.
David Avanesyan vs Liam Taylor will serve as the new main event.
“Obviously we are all disappointed that Chris Eubank Jr can no longer compete on tonight’s card, but it is important to make the right decision in the interests of fighters’ health and safety,” Shalom said via a press release.
“My thoughts go out to Chris, who has had a very difficult time lately.
“He will come back stronger and remains a key figure in Sky Sports plans.
“Chris will be returning with a big fight in the next few weeks.
He added: “Tonight’s card remains stacked with great fights from top to bottom, including the European Welterweight Championship bout in the main event, the English Super-Middleweight Title Eliminator bout between Germaine Brown and Jamal Ledoux and the return of top cruiserweight prospect Richard Riakporhe.”
Riakporhe is unbeaten in his 11 fights, while Krzysztof Twardowski has just two defeats in nine outings.
Sky Sports’ Adam Smith added: “I feel very strongly that first and foremost, the health and safety of all fighters is paramount.
“We’re hugely disappointed for Chris Eubank Jr, who has a big role to play in our new era on Sky Sports Boxing, and he will return on one of our shows in the coming weeks.
“David Avanesyan now tops tonight’s action-packed bill with his European title fight and we’ll bring you some of the most exciting talent in British boxing, with Richard Riakporhe, Ebonie Jones, and Germaine Brown all receiving their chance to shine on Sky Sports.”
Eubank Jr’s manager Kalle Sauerland, Head of Global Boxing at Wasserman, said: “It is an extremely unfortunate situation for Chris.
“However, the health and safety of boxers is always our number one concern and at this late stage it wasn’t possible to find a suitable replacement.
“I know Chris was looking forward to fighting tonight at The SSE Arena, Wembley and starring as the new face of Sky Sports Boxing.
“We are already in discussions regarding a new date for Chris and fans can expect to see him back in the ring very soon.”
This will be updated.