Chris Eubank Jr. vs Avni Yildirim was the second Super-Middleweight Quarter-Final of Season 1 of the WBSS and tonight’s explosive rerun at 7pm (UK) on World Boxing Super Series Facebook and YouTube.
Before the bout at the Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle in Stuttgart on October 7, 2017 war was the overriding theme between the Englishman and the Turk.
“The warship has landed, fully equipped, fully loaded and all the artillery is pointing at this man here (Yildirim),” Eubank Jr. said at the press conference.
“Heat-seeking missiles, torpedoes, Gatling guns, the whole shebang and let’s see how long the man with the Kalashnikov can last.”
Yildirim and his trainer-manager Ahmet Öner – often describing themselves as a Turkish version of Rambo and Colonel Trautman – reacted to Eubank’s opening statement with even more war rhetoric. They clearly meant business and would not be intimidated by the flamboyant favourite.
“So you have come with all your weapons, but don’t forget the first world war when everybody was after the Turks and nobody couldn’t do it,” said Yildirim via Öner’s translation.
“We are still here and everyone knows what Turkish soldiers are capable of. Ottoman Empire. The fight is not a joke and you are talking about war. Turks are soldiers, war is in our DNA. You will see it, this is no sport, this is a real fight, this is war.”
Eubank Jr. then tried to disarm the heated war of words.
“I have a lot of respect for the Turkish community, I have Turkish friends and I love Turkish food,”he told.
“But countries and nationalities and all of this talk doesn’t mean anything. We’re in the present. This is a fight between two men. Nationalities doesn’t mean anything once that bell goes. I would advise Avni to take his focus off of stirring up drama between two countries, let’s focus on giving the fans the fight they want to see.
“When it comes to boxing I believe emotion is a hindrance. I’m very focused and it’s all business. I don’t have anything personal against him or his trainer, he’s just a person in front of me I have to beat to get to the semifinal and final. There’s no bad blood, I don’t know the man or understand anything he’s really saying.”
From there, things developed further with a fierce exchange of insults between Öner (equipped with most ammunition) and a member of Eubank’s team, almost evolving into a brawl – the manager later apologized the chaotic incident.
The fight itself – the one in the square ring at Hanns-Martin-Schleyer Halle – was short, action-packed and extremely dramatic, and confirmed Eubank Jr. as a serious contender in the quest for the Muhammad Ali Trophy.
Relive it or watch it for a thrilling first time at 7pm (UK) on World Boxing Super Series Facebook and YouTube.