Korobov: ‘I couldn’t fight with just one arm, especially being a southpaw’

In the co-featured bout, Chris Eubank Jr.‘s (29-2, 22 KOs) long-awaited United States debut ended in frustrating fashion as his opponent, Matt Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KOs), suffered a bout-ending injury at just :34 of the second round. Because it was ruled a self-inflicted injury, the result was officially declared a TKO victory for Eubank, who picked up the Interim WBA Middleweight Title.

Korobov, a top contender in the middleweight division, injured his left shoulder after throwing a punch that failed to land. After consulting with the ringside doctor, it was deemed that he would be unable to continue.

“I felt like I was about to get my swagger on,” Eubank told SHOWTIME reporter Jim Gray following the stoppage. “He just turned around and stopped. I was going to go jump on him. I guess something happened with his shoulder. There’s nothing to take from the fight. I threw like three or four punches. I was just warming up.”

In the buildup to the fight, Eubank, the son of British boxing legend and former two-division world champion Chris Eubank Sr., repeatedly said that there would be a new contender in the stacked middleweight division. Despite not getting a chance to introduce himself to the American audience in the way he envisioned, Eubank is looking ahead to a busy 2020.

“I’m the winner, I’m going to move forward and challenger for these belts,” said Eubank. “This wasn’t my dream.  My dream was to come here to America and make a statement. Now that I’ve landed and I settled with the new promotional team, I feel I can get the ball rolling for an active 2020.  It’s a shame it had to start like this, but it is what it is.”

“I was trying to throw the left hand straight, and I just felt the muscle immediately, like I pulled it,” said Korobov. “It was a lot of pain right away. I couldn’t fight with just one arm, especially being a southpaw.

Eubank on 160-pound division: ‘I don’t see anybody being able to touch me at this weight class’

Middleweight star Chris Eubank Jr. and top contender Matt Korobov will square off in the co-main event on Saturday, December 7 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™, in a Premier Boxing Champions event. Eubank and Korobov will meet for the Interim WBA Middleweight Title.

The middleweight division will take center stage on the SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) that is headlined by undefeated WBC Middleweight World Champion Jermall Charlo defending his title against highly-ranked contender Dennis Hogan.

Eubank is coming off a career-best win over British super middleweight rival James DeGale in February on SHOWTIME and will go down to the 160-pound class to take on Korobov, a southpaw who gave Charlo a tougher than expected test as a late replacement last December at Barclays Center.

This will be the first time that Eubank (28-2, 21 KOs) has fought in the U.S. as a professional. Although he has competed at super middleweight, the 29-year-old from Brighton, Sussex in the United Kingdom will meet Korobov at his more natural weight of 160 pounds for the interim title. Since losing to George Groves in 2018, the son of British legend Chris Eubank Sr. has put together two victories, including the decisive unanimous decision over former super middleweight champion DeGale in his last fight in London.

“I’m ready to take the United States and the middleweight division by storm,” said Eubank.  “I’m excited to come down to 160 pounds where I naturally belong, and I don’t see anybody being able to touch me at this weight class.  America is where I learned how to fight as an amateur in Las Vegas and 13 years later I’m finally going to make my U.S. professional debut.  I can’t wait to show the fans in the U.S. that I’m the best middleweight in the world.”

The 36-year-old Korobov (28-2-1, 14 KOs) is coming off a majority draw against Immanuwel Aleem in his last fight in May, after serving notice to the middleweight division that he would be a threat when he lost a hard-fought decision to Jermall Charlo in December. Born in Orotukan, Russia and now living in St. Petersburg, Florida, Korobov was a late replacement and gave Charlo a tougher fight than many experts expected. Korobov had been riding a four-fight win streak before the Charlo fight, having previously lost a middleweight title fight to Andy Lee in 2014.

“I am more motivated for this fight than any other so far in my career,” said Korobov. “Against Jermall Charlo, I didn’t get the decision. In my mind, I won that fight at Barclays Center. This time around, I will leave no doubt against Eubank. This opportunity gives me a chance to right a wrong. Fans will see the best Matt Korobov on December 7.”

Monroe out; Korobov to battle Charlo on December 22

Middleweight contender Matt Korobov has stepped up to challenge Jermall Charlo for the WBC Interim Middleweight Championship live in primetime on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, December 22 from Barclays Center, the home of BROOKLYN BOXING™ in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

Korobov is replacing Willie Monroe, Jr., who was removed from the main event after he tested positive for a banned substance by VADA under the WBC Clean Boxing Program. The WBC is conducting further investigation into the matter. Korobov was due to fight on the undercard and had been training to fight December 22. He willingly stepped forward when the call came for a replacement for Monroe.

“I was well prepared for Willie Monroe, who is a southpaw, so there won’t be that much difference facing Korobov,” said Charlo. “There is a size difference. He’s taller than Monroe, but I’ll just have to adjust my game plan. The best fighters in the world are the ones who are able to make the best adjustments. Beating Korobov is going to make the victory that much sweeter due to this adversity. That means the celebration is going to be sweeter as well. He was fighting on the undercard, so he’s prepared. But now fighting for the title in the top spot is going to make him fight harder. I love it. He’s a much better opponent on paper than Willie Monroe Jr.”

“I was training to fight on this card so I am physically and mentally ready to fight,” said Korobov. “It doesn’t matter that I am taking this fight on a week’s notice because I have been preparing for this moment my entire life. I will make a few adjustments for Charlo and make the most of this opportunity. Don’t miss it. Make sure you tune-in to FOX for a great fight.”

The Charlo vs. Korobov bout is part of a blockbuster PBC on FOX show that features the Charlo Twins defending their world titles and a heavyweight showdown between Dominic Breazeale and Carlos Negron beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Jermall Charlo, who won a coin toss with his brother, will close the show in a 12-round WBC middleweight championship bout against Korobov, while Jermell Charlo will battle Tony Harrison in defense of the WBC Super Welterweight World Title.

Korobov (28-1, 14 KOs), who was originally scheduled to face Colombia’s Juan De Angel, has an outstanding resume that includes a unanimous decision victory over current super middleweight world champion Jose Uzcategui in 2014. His lone loss came against Andy Lee in a middleweight championship fight in 2014. Korobov was ahead on all three judges’ scorecards when he was caught by a right hand from Lee that resulted in a sixth round TKO loss.

The 35-year-old southpaw is from Orotukan, Russia and now lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. As an amateur he won the European Championships in 2006 by defeating reigning undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk. He was a member of the 2008 Russian Olympic boxing team and finished his amateur career with a record of 300-12. He enters this fight with four straight victories, having most recently scored a unanimous decision over Jonathan Batista.