Matt Korobov: ‘I believe in myself and my abilities to pull out a win over Chris Eubank Jr.’
On Saturday, Matt Korobov will face Chris Eubank, Jr. in a crossroads fight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The 12-round middleweight bout will precede the WBC 160-pound title clash between Jermall Charlo and mandatory challenger Dennis Hogan.
The 36-year-old Korobov, who is originally from Orotukan, Russia and now lives in Lantana, Florida, is winless in his last two bouts. However, many believe the veteran southpaw did enough to beat Jermall Charlo in December 2018, and he was unlucky to receive a draw against Immanuwel Aleem, after incorrectly being announced as the winner in May.
Despite those setbacks, Korobov’s stock has risen in a division still ruled by Ring Magazine and WBA middleweight titleholder Canelo Alvarez, which makes tonight’s WBA eliminator against Eubank Jr. all the more important.
“I was looking to face Charlo in a rematch, but I can’t turn down this opportunity,” Korobov told The Ring earlier this week. “I’ve had decisions that I thought should have gone in my favor, but I have to move on. I believe in myself and my abilities to pull out a win over Chris Eubank.”
Korobov fought the early part of his professional career under the Top Rank banner. As he moved from prospect to contender status, he became known to boxing fans by fighting on ‘Solo Boxeo’ telecasts on the Spanish-language Telefutura network and on HBO. Korobov suffered his first loss to Andy Lee (KO 6) in December 2014, a fight he was winning on the scorecards.
Unhappy with being inactive, Korobov negotiated a release from Top Rank early last year.
“There were times I would get promised a fight but nothing transpired, or a delay would push my fight back two-three weeks,” said Korobov. “I would be in shape, but there were times where I needed rest and camp extended longer than I wanted. I appreciate what Top Rank did, but things happen for a reason. I’m happy where I’m at in my career.
“I wanted to be more active. I took a fight in March of last year for a local promoter in Florida. I waited and received a few offers until I signed with PBC later in the year.”
Korobov will turn 37 on Jan. 7, and there’s no telling how much time he has left in the sport. A victory over Eubank will put him on the doorstep of fighting for a world title, and should Alvarez vacate the WBA middleweight strap next year – in favour of fighting at 168 or 175 pounds – Korobov could conceivably fight for it against the next available contender.
For Korobov, this is an opportunity he is grateful to have, and the former amateur standout hopes to put on an impressive performance.
“I know what I’m capable of and the skills I possess,” he said. “My family motivates me and they’re by my side. I have a great team, in and out of the ring, and that’s great to have.”
“I can make for great fights and I believe I have the skills and will to fight against Canelo or (Gennadiy) Golovkin. I want to prove it.”
At Friday’s weigh-in, Korobov (28-2-1, 14 knockouts) weighed in at 159 pounds, while Eubank (28-2, 21 KOs) weighed 159.4.