Chris Eubank’s fight with Anatoli Muratov at the SSE Arena, Wembley, tonight has been called off after the British Boxing Board of Control raised concerns over Muratov’s pre-fight medicals. 

Eubank, the WBA No 1 ranked middleweight, was having only his second bout in almost two years as he aimed to gear up for a big fight in December against the WBA No 7 from Germany. 

“It is an extremely unfortunate situation for Chris. However, the health and safety of boxers is always our number one concern and at this late stage it has not been possible to find a suitable replacement,” said Kalle Sauerland, Head of Global Boxing at Wasserman, who promote Eubank.

“I know Chris was looking forward to fighting tonight at the SSE Arena, Wembley and starring as the new face of Sky Sports Boxing. We are already in discussions regarding a new date for Chris and fans can expect to see him back in the ring very soon.” 

The bout was already a replacement, after Muratov came in as a substitute for his fellow German Sven Elbir, who went down with Covid a week ago. 

The cancellation will be a tough blow to Sky Sports on what is their first show since their split with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom group.  

The bill will still go ahead with the European welterweight title clash between David Avanesyan and Liam Taylor now topping the bill. 

“I feel very strongly that first and foremost, the health and safety of all fighters is paramount," said Adam Smith, Sky Sports Head of Boxing. “We’re hugely disappointed for Chris Eubank Jr, who has a big role to play in our new era on Sky Sports Boxing, and he will return on one of our shows in the coming weeks.

“David Avanesyan now tops tonight’s action-packed bill with his European title fight and we’ll bring you some of the most exciting talent in British boxing, with Richard Riakporhe, Ebonie Jones, and Germaine Brown all receiving their chance to shine on Sky Sports.”

Added BOXXER's Ken Shalom: “Obviously we are all disappointed that Chris Eubank Jr. can no longer compete on tonight’s card, but it is important to make the right decision in the interests of fighters’ health and safety. We’re grateful to the British Board of Boxing Control for the standards they employ to protect that.

“My thoughts go out to Chris, who has had a very difficult time lately. He will come back stronger and remains a key figure in Sky Sports plans. Chris will be returning with a big fight in the next few weeks."

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.