Tomorrow night on Showtime from Brooklyn (9:00 pm ET), Showtime presents a tripleheader headlined by a WBC middleweight title fight between Jermall Charlo and Dennis Hogan, with Chris Eubank Jr and Matt Korobov meeting in the co-feature, also at 160 pounds.
Bad Left Hook will have live coverage tomorrow night, and our staffers make their picks for the top two bouts on the card now. (Note: We would have done picks for Marlon Tapales vs Ryosuke Iwasa, too, but honestly I forgotten that fight was part of the main TV card until after I’d sent everyone the email for picks. — Scott)
Chris Eubank Jr vs Matt Korobov
Chris Eubank Jr is a good fighter who is not a very good boxer in technical terms, at least not consistently at a high level. He falls in love with his own athleticism and the idea of his own power too often, but he did look pretty sharp against James DeGale (who didn’t) in February. And he fights well against southpaws, too, meaning Korobov’s “advantage” there may be no advantage at all.
I do legitimately think Korobov has the technical skill to give Eubank absolute hell here, but I don’t think he’ll win. Eubank, for all his flaws, is a high-engine fighter who will still be there looking strong in round 12. Korobov is 36 and while he was at worst very competitive against Jermall Charlo, and probably deserved a win over Immanuwel Aleem, he absolutely faded in both of those fights, and I see that being a huge problem against Eubank. This could be a fight where after six or seven rounds, Korobov looks in pretty good control, and then Eubank just takes over on him. I expect a distance fight, (what should be) pretty competitive scores, but a deserved win for Eubank. Eubank UD-12
Chris Eubank Jr certainly isn’t one of the better technicians out there, but I think he’s certainly one of the better conditioned athletes in the game. For whatever you want to say about Eubank’s personality, he seems to live a pretty militant lifestyle and is always training. Good work habits are important and something you can control as opposed to natural talent, and I think Eubank has been leveraging that to the best of his ability.
Now I’d love to see Eubank stick with a trainer rather that the play-it-by-ear approach he’s taken, but he’s coming off his best win with a solid decision over James DeGale at the top of the year and I think his confidence is really high. It probably would’ve been better if Eubank rode that momentum and had another fight before now, but I’m not particularly concerned that he’s just been a couch potato since February. Korobov’s best days are behind him, and if Eubank really has plans on taking on Jermall Charlo for his world title next, then this is a fight he should win. Korobov hasn’t notched a win in over a year-and-a-half, and I don’t see him getting back on the board in this outing. Eubank TKO-10
Patrick L. Stumberg
The million-dollar question in any Eubank Jr fight is whether his motor can bail him out. The technical advancement just isn’t there; he’s still liable to knuckle down and spam hooks at the drop of a hat. Korobov is exponentially sharper, but considering the way he faded against Charlo, the outlook seems rocky against Eubank’s never-ending stream of offense.
It is worth noting, though, that Korobov was training for an eight-rounder before getting called up to the main event. I’d expect a better gas tank this time around, and though Eubank is relentless, he’s also easier to work around than Charlo. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Korobov banks enough early rounds to survive Eubank’s late berserk charge and eke out a decision. Korobov SD-12
This is a ballsy move from Team Eubank. Korobov is a horrible opponent to face in your US debut, at a time where Eubanks’s next steps will probably define his career.
Eubank’s technical ability has always been placed under the spotlight, with savvy operators in Saunders and Groves cruising to victories with a clear box-and-move game-plan. Eubank’s best work comes when he can engage in war, using his high punch output and “warriors code” to swarm an opponent. His true power was questionable at super-middleweight, with this move down to 160-pounds potentially allowing for more success when trading.
Korobov is a tough southpaw who deserves a bit of luck. Without a win in over 18 months, the 36-year-old may lack the motivation and desperation that Eubank and his father embody. Eubank’s last two wins came against southpaws in JJ McDonagh and James DeGale – maybe this is another masterstroke from the PBC matchmakers. If Eubank’s ring IQ improves he could become a contender. Eubank TKO-10
And the staff winner is...
Chris Eubank Jr (3-1)!
Jermall Charlo vs Dennis Hogan
I thought Hogan beat Jaime Munguia in April — not by a ton, but by enough. “Enough” is all that should matter. He gave Munguia fits, but Munguia is still sort of a one-speed fighter, and Hogan and Co. had the exact right plan in that fight.
Charlo is a bit different in terms of challenge. Munguia was bigger than Hogan, but Charlo could be even bigger. Jermall has acclimated fully to 160 at this point, while Hogan is coming up from 154. The challenger says he feels stronger not dropping as much weight, as he would — fuck’s he gonna do, say during fight week that this might be a bad idea after all? — but Charlo’s a bigger guy and a bigger puncher, and while I know he’s not every hard core die hard fan’s favorite, he’s not as flawed as Munguia, not as easy to take advantage of, perhaps.
Jermall can be dragged through 12 stink ass rounds, as we saw in June against Brandon Adams. But Adams didn’t put in a legitimate effort to win, either. I expect Hogan to actually try to win, so I expect Hogan to get stopped late, while maybe nicking a few rounds along the way. Charlo TKO-11
This fight doesn’t do much for me, personally. Dennis Hogan lost a controversial decision to Jaime Munguia in his last outing so I’m not upset that he’s getting another shot here, but I think stylistically this is just a different ball of wax. Hogan is certainly a game and cagey fighter but I don’t see anything that does being particularly better than Charlo, and I think athletically Charlo will be much more of a handful than Munguia was for him. Charlo isn’t spectacular in any one area, but he’s a very well-rounded fighter that doesn’t have any glaring deficiencies that I can see. He’s just solid all-around.
Hogan will come into this fight looking to win and get some vindication for his last outing, and while I think that’ll be good enough to make Charlo work for it, I don’t think he’ll have enough to actually stop or outpoint Charlo over the distance. That said, I don’t think Charlo manages to score a stoppage either, so I’ll just take him to win a 12-round decision. Charlo UD-12
Patrick L. Stumberg
Though Hogan deserved to have a belt around his waist after his fight with Jaime Munguia, I don’t think it unfair to give as much weight to Munguia’s deficiencies as Hogan’s skills when autopsying the battle. Munguia’s straightforward, big-swinging offense provided opportunities that Charlo’s more grounded attack simply won’t. Plus, unlike Munguia, Charlo actually has the tools to utilize his massive advantages in height and reach.
Hogan will have to make up for the size and power discrepancies with sheer craft, and even if you were to give him the edge in overall acumen, it wouldn’t be by enough to overcome those hurdles. Charlo’s power at 160 pounds hasn’t been as consistent as at 154, so expect Hogan to suffer through 12 unpleasant rounds. Charlo UD-12
Hogan surprised everyone with his performance against Munguia with the scorecards stinking out Monterrey back in April. The Irishman made life hell for the champion during the light-middleweight contest showing an abundance of skill and awkwardness. There’s no doubt Hogan is trying to ride that wave into this shot at Charlo’s 160-pound title, but with limited power, it’s hard to see how Hogan can repeat his performance in Mexico in the weight class above – the last time he weighed in above 159-pounds was back in 2013.
Hogan has shown his defensive savviness when fighting for previous straps and may drag Charlo into the later rounds. Still, it should be a case of too big, too strong in favour of the champion. Charlo TKO-10