A magnificent performance against a seasoned world contender in Arthur Abraham put Chris Eubank Jr. as a major player at the super-middleweight limit just a few short months ago.
Eubank defeated Abraham in highly convincing fashion to defend his IBO strap and now tackles unknown Turk Avni Yildrim as the Brighton man bids to book a unification with compatriots George Groves or Jamie Cox early next year.
Should the Brits meet as expected in the semi-final stages, Eubank must take out the undefeated Yildirim and avoid the scorecards in order to cement his place in the last four.
The 27 year-old is a massive 1/6 favorite with the UK bookmakers, although the odds don’t truly reflect what looks a tricky bout for Eubank on paper.
Yildirim is largely untested, and with both going through a fiery fight week, the anticipation has grown until the last few hours of preparation.
With his power daunting to even the best of the 168 pound limit (just ask Abraham) due to those sickening uppercuts, it’s sure to be a tough night for Yildirim as we gauge if he really is a world class fighter.
Leave the showboating for outside the ring and focus on putting together his trademark combinations is the order of the day for Eubank, who can become a massive star should he go on to lift the Ali Trophy.
If Junior can eventually make his way to the final, a meeting with yet another UK fighter beckons in Callum Smith, who looked good in beating Erik Skoglund and should prove too much for Robert Brant or a boiling down Juergen Brahmer.
Plenty of excitement is yet to come, whilst Eubank has a job on to walk away from Stuttgart with his place in the competition unless he sticks to the gameplan and secures an early night.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay