Barker predicts Abraham will take Eubank Jr. to the trenches

Mark Robinson

Former IBF World Middleweight champion Darren Barker insists Arthur Abraham could end the Chris Eubank Jnr roadshow this Saturday in London.

Barker says Arthur Abraham should not be under-estimated in the eagerly-awaited showdown at The SSE Arena, Wembley, on Saturday.

Barker, who won the same IBF crown which Abraham held for four years, says Eubank is up against the most experienced opponent of his career and must be wary of the German’s power and ring craft.

“I do give Arthur Abraham a real chance against Eubank because he brings to the ring a lot of experience at the very top level of the sport. You can’t buy that type of knowledge. It is a cracking match-up because we have the young, up-and-coming fighter against the ageing warrior and I know Abraham is a very proud boxer,” said Barker.

“Abraham, like Eubank, started out at middleweight and moved up to super middle so both will be around the same size. Abraham has been in with some very big lads and stood up to all of them. He has been in the ring with the likes of Carl Froch and Andre Ward and not flinched, so Eubank is up against a very tough customer.

“Basically, Abraham only loses very rarely and then only to elite level boxers like Froch and Ward. He doesn’t lose to anything other than the very, very best, so this is a fascinating fight because we are about to find out just how good Eubank is? I think Eubank is a terrific young talent, but he is going in there with someone who will take him to places he has never been before, so we will see a cracking fight in which a lot of questions about Eubank are going to be answered. Eubank will be taken to the trenches. Abraham will bring out the best in him, or not.”

Barker, who retired in 2013, just a few months after winning the world crown against Daniel Geale in Atlantic City, is picking Eubank to win, but admits he would not be shocked if Abraham was holding his hand above his head at the end of their clash, which is promoted by Poxon Sports, in association with Team Sauerland and is live and exclusive on ITV Box Office.

Barker said: “Abraham is as tough as they come and he is a winner. The very last thing he would want would be to lose to flashy young kid like Eubank. He will want to show there is still plenty left in his tank as there are some very lucrative match-ups available to him if he wins.

“I pick Eubank to win because I think his extra energy and speed will give him the advantage over 12 very closely fought rounds, but would I be stunned if Abraham won? No, I wouldn’t. Look at Abraham’s ring record. You only get that if you are an exceptional fighter and Abraham is high quality.”

Former two-time world light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer also says his fellow countryman Abraham could win this weekend.

Braehmer, who lost the WBA version of the world title to Welshman Nathan Cleverly last year, said: “I think it will be a very interesting fight. For me, the decisive factor will be Arthur Abraham. If he is well prepared and if he manages to get in with his heavy hands, then we will have to see how Chris Eubank Jr can react to that. Chris Eubank Jr has the home advantage so Arthur needs to impress with his activity, but I will keep my fingers crossed for Arthur and I believe he can win.”