Bad news for anyone keen to see Chris Eubank Jr. take on Sven Elbir this weekend. Eubank and Wasserman Boxing have announced that Elbir has tested positive for COVID-19, and is out for this Saturday’s middleweight showdown at Wembley Arena in London.
But, when the boxing gods close a little-known German door? Sometimes, they open a little-known German window. And, through that window enters Anatoli Muratov (24-2-1, 17 KO), a Kazakh based out of Germany that steps up on five days notice, and who will be fighting for the third time in just 42 days.
Muratov sits comfortably at #7 in the WBA middleweight rankings, just above Michael Zerafa and Mikalai Vesialou. Muratov has been very active lately, notching a KO victory over Gyorgy Varju (7-10, 4 KO) on September 18th, and a stoppage win against Malkhaz Sujashvili (12-17, 10 KO) on August 21st. Both of those were scheduled for 6 rounds per BoxRec, but Muratov obviously didn’t need that much time to handle his business.
Sven Elbir (18-1, 14 KO) was gripping the very bottom rung of the WBA middleweight rankings at #15. Technically, one could make the argument that Muratov is a significant step up over the originally scheduled Elbir. The WBA seems to think so, and you are free to agree or disagree as you see fit.
Odds are, if you were looking forward to this Saturday’s fight, Chris Eubank was the reason. With Muratov available and ready to go, Eubank keeps the date, and the show will go on. Viel glück to Mr. Muratov, and sei gesund to Mr. Elbir.