While many are eagerly anticipating the grudge match between bitter British heavyweight rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte at London's O2 Arena, Matchroom's 'Bad Intentions' event also includes an impressive undercard with no shortage of talented domestic fighters. The precursor to the main event sees Chris Eubank Jr face Gary "Spike" O'Sullivan in a final eliminator for a shot at Daniel Jacobs' WBA middleweight title.
Where to watch
Eubank Jr vs O'Sullivan is available to watch live on Sky Sports Box Office, with the programme scheduled to begin at 5pm. Matchroom chief Eddie Hearn expects that particular fight to commence at approximately 9.45pm.
The obvious bad blood that exists between former amateur opponents Joshua and Whyte has understandably been the main focus in the build-up to fight night, but similar resentment has been brewing between Eubank Jr – whose eccentric father and manager recently enjoyed a stint on ITV reality series I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!' – and O'Sullivan of late as the two have verbally sparred. Things certainly got chippy at the final press conference this week, while the Irishman sparked trouble at the weigh-in as he planted an unwelcome kiss on his opponent, who initially came in over the weight limit.
Suffering his first professional defeat to Billy Joe Saunders in November 2014, Eubank Jr has since claimed the WBA interim middleweight title with a 12th-round stoppage of Dmitry Chudinov and subsequently retained that honour with an easy win over American journeyman Tony Jeter two months ago in his debut fight under the Matchroom banner.
As for the confident O'Sullivan, he was also bested by Saunders when the pair met back in 2013. Boasting a record of 22 wins from his 23 professional contests, the 31-year-old Cork native is known as a committed and passionate boxer capable of packing a seriously powerful punch that should provide a tough test of the skillful Eubank Jr's resilience and chin strength.
Prior to Eubank Jr's meeting with O'Sullivan, Kevin Mitchell follows up his epic 10th-round defeat to Jorge Linares in what was a definite fight of the year contender on the undercard of Kell Brook v Frankie Gavin with a battle against Ismael Barroso for the WBA interim lightweight title.
Tony 'Bomber' Bellew hopes to claim the vacant European cruiserweight title as he meets Mateusz Masternak, while 2012 Olympic gold medalist Luke Campbell continues his ascent up the lightweight rankings and defends his WBC international lightweight belt against Yvan Mendy.
Pauli Malignaggi also fights in the United Kingdom for the first time in seven years as he meets Gianluca Branco's replacement in Antonio Moscatiello. Dereck Chisora was recently added to the bill as a replacement for Josh Warrington, who withdrew from the defence of his WBC international featherweight title against Jorge Sanchez due to a virus.
What they've said
Chris Eubank Jr: "He was acting like a child if you ask me. The stuff he was saying and doing was schoolboy stuff if you ask me and that shows nervousness. He has dug himself a very deep hole and he's not going to be able to get out of it. No fight is simple, but he is not the man to beat me. He's one-dimensional and he's not got enough in his armory to beat me.
"The gravity of the situation he is in has slowly begun to dawn on him in the build-up. He is going to step into the ring with me; the pressure has got to him. He could have boxed me twice before and he tried to price himself out of this fight, he doesn't really want it. I've had a great camp and I am ready to go in there and cause some destruction. Some of the stuff he has said over the years is sickening. I would not give him the satisfaction to repeat them, but for him to then go quiet is embarrassing and fake."
Spike O'Sullivan: "He obviously has the Eubank name, so there is going to be a bit of pressure on him anyway, but he carries on like a bit of a plonker and he's very arrogant and disrespectful for the fans and has a persona about him. He's unbelievably arrogant and cocky and I just think he's a pretty dislikable guy. I think the majority of people would like to see me win.
"I think he's reasonably easy to hit. He's been tagged in every fight I've watched. I punch that hard that it's inevitable that I will knock him out. I'm not sure what round I'll get him in, it could be any – keep tuned."
Eubank Jr: 21 fights, 20 wins (15 via knockout)
- (W) Tony Jeter - technical knockout - October 2015
- (W) Dmitry Chudinov - technical knockout - February 2015
- (L) Billy Joe Saunders - split decision - November 2014
O'Sullivan: 23 fights, 22 wins (15 via knockout)
- (W) David Toribio - knockout - October 2015
- (W) Melvin Betancourt - knockout - May 2015
- (W) Milton Nunez - technical knockout - March 2015
Eubank Jr to triumph on points following an entertaining and feisty encounter that could well steal the show if Joshua continues his run of devastating early knockouts in the main event.
Anthony Joshua vs Dillian Whyte
Chris Eubank Jr vs Spike O'Sullivan
Kevin Mitchell vs Ismael Barroso
Tony Bellew vs Mateusz Masternak
Luke Campbell vs Yvan Mendy
Paulie Malignaggi vs Antonio Moscatiello
Dereck Chisora vs Jakov Gospic
Martin J Ward vs Miguel Gonzalez
Reece Bellotti v Samuel Escobar
Jake Ball vs Richard Horton
Ted Cheeseman vs Ian Henry