LONDON - Chris Eubank Jnr’s explosive coming of age on a night of brutality inside and outside the ring in Germany has raised the possibility of a British super-fight with George Groves at Chelsea’s football ground.
Eubank Jnr’s three-round destruction of the most dangerous floater in the new World Super Series tournament has catapulted him towards stadium stardom.
Now it remains for Groves to win his quarter-final by beating another Englishman, Jamie Cox, this Saturday at Wembley Arena. That venue has again been put on hold, for January 20, for Eubank to face the winner.
But if Groves prevails then that semi-final could be switched to Stamford Bridge, despite the risk of mid-winter cold and rain. Following Eubank’s achievement in not only knocking out Avni Yildirim but subduing his thousands of Turkish followers who fought a bloody battle in the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle, promoter Kalle Sauerland revealed: "We have had exploratory discussions regarding Chelsea and other football clubs in London.
"Chris has made a huge statement. If George does the same next weekend we are looking at a massive fight which could easily fill a stadium. There have been outdoor fights in winter before, so the January date would not prevent it.
"Remember the torrential rain and low temperature when Wladimir Klitschko beat David Haye in Hamburg (in 2011). The crowd bring their own warmth to a stadium and conditions like that would not stop them turning out for a fight as big as this."
Last night was just the beginning. I’m not here to take part. I’m here to take over. pic.twitter.com/nQstVv88vr
Groves has a long-held ambition to box at Chelsea, his local club. The Eubanks, father and son, might prefer an alternative but Sauerland says: "In the contracts we have the absolute right to choose all the venues for the tournament. Given modern travel links, it is hardly any distance from their home town of Brighton to London."
By good fortune, Stamford Bridge is free on January 20 — because Chelsea are away to Brighton that afternoon.
The fight would be for the WBA world super-middleweight title held by Groves. Eubank says: "I’ve done my part. Now it’s up to George to do his and set us up for the kind of super-fight which is why I am in this game."
Eubank’s dazzling victory over the previously undefeated Yildirim in a hostile environment led his legendary father, Chris Snr, to say: "Junior has just shown us the essence of why I believe he is becoming a truly great fighter."
His son, holder of the lesser-rated IBO world title, says: "The chance of fighting George was one of the reasons I entered this tournament. He and I have history. We have sparred a lot of rounds and I can say I would be very comfortable fighting him."
Eubank made his entrance as seating at ringside was still being put back in place following a mass brawl between Yildirim’s countrymen and a rival group of Albanians.
Inside the ring, Eubank went urgently to work on a challenger with a reputation as an iron man. One combination in the first round forced Yildirim down on to one knee and he received a mandatory eight count.
A series of uppercuts weakened the Turk in the second and Eubank finished him in the third with a dazzling combination climaxed by a thunderous left hook.
So, Eubank lacks punching power at super-middleweight? Ask the man he nigh-on decapitated. Yildirim said: "He is very fast and that speed magnifies the strength of his punching."
The on-looking thugs, some believed to be members of a Stuttgart crime gang, slunk into the night. The stage is half-set for an even more momentous event in London early next year.