Chris Eubank Jr V Liam Smith Middleweight Boxing Preview & Betting Tips

After the heavily promoted bout between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn was cancelled at the last minute back in October, due to Benn failing a drugs test (which Benn.s camp claimed was a mistake), BOXXER boxing returns this weekend and Eubank will head the card at the Manchester AO Arena as he takes on Liverpool’s former world champion Liam “Beefy” Smith.

In what is a good card of fights, this Middleweight clash is important as the winner will put themselves in prime contention for a crack at one of the world titles later in the year, or at least to be in the reckoning for a shot at one of them.

However, a defeat could be the final straw for the loser and as such, that puts a lot more at stake for both fighters come Saturday night.

You can check out the markets available for the Eubankj Jr v Smith fight at bet365 Sport right now, with more available when the bout gets underway via In Play betting.

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Eubank Jr v Smith – Preview

For boxing fans, Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will need little introduction, but for those of you not quite up to speed with the two fighters set to clash at Middleweight on Saturday, let’s remedy that now with our look at both heading into the fight.

Chris Eubank Jr.

  • Height – 5ft 11”
  • Reach – 73”
  • Age – 33
  • Date of Birth – 18th September 1989
  • Place of Birth – Hove, East Sussex
  • Weights – Middleweight & Super Middleweight
  • Stance – Orthodox
  • Total Fights – 34
  • Wins – 32
  • Wins by KO – 23
  • Losses – 2
  • Nickname – Next Gen

Ever since he started as a professional back in 2011, Chris Eubank Jr has carried his father’s legacy with him. A former IBO Super-Middleweight title, his two losses have come against fellow British fighters Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves.

His biggest wins have come against Renold Quinlan, Arthur Abraham, James DeGale and Liam Williams although it is fair to say that he has not been in with the same number of quality opponents as his opponent has been at Light Middleweight.

After the disappointment of his fight with Conor Benn being called off, through no fault of his own it has to be said, Eubank Jr will be itching to get back into action and he will fancy his chances being the naturally bigger man for this bout.

Certainly the bookmakers have him as the favourite with bet365 having Eubank Jr the 4/11 favourite to win the fight.

Liam Smith

  • Height – 5ft 9”
  • Reach – 69”
  • Age – 34
  • Date of Birth – 27th July 1988
  • Place of Birth – Liverpool, England
  • Weights – Light-Middleweight, Middleweight
  • Stance – Orthodox
  • Total Fights – 36
  • Wins – 32
  • Wins by KO – 19
  • Losses – 3
  • Draws – 1
  • Nickname – Beefy

Liam “Beefy” Smith is the third youngest of the four Smith brothers, elder brothers Paul and Stephen and younger brother Callum, who are all professional boxers and two of whom have been World Champions in their respective divisions.

Liam is one of those having held the WBO Light-Middleweight title from 2015-2016 which he won in his 22nd fight against John Thompson, defending it successfully twice before losing to Canelo Alvarez in his 25th fight.

He has since landed a number of notable wins beating Liam Williams twice, Sam Eggington, Roberto Garcia, Anthony Fowler and Jessie Vargas but he has also lost twice since, once to Jamie Munguia and the other against Magomed Kurbanov.

Having fought all his career at light-middleweight, this will be the first time Smith has moved up to middleweight, while his opponent takes a step down from his usual boxing weight at Super-Middleweight, which does tend to put Smith at a physical disadvantage.

Commenting on the fight Smith remarked:

“He’s making a big mistake fighting me. Every time he has fought at the top level, he has failed. I know I am at that level and when he steps up on January 21st in Manchester, I’m confident he’ll lose again.

“If he was at 60% for the fight that never was against Conor Benn, then he’ll need to be at 160% to be ready to face me, a former world champion, in front of thousands of my fans in the North-West.

“For Chris, this is a high-risk, low-reward [fight]. For me, it’s the perfect platform to show I will rule the world again in 2023. He needs to be prepared for the toughest night of his career.”

Eubank Jr v Smith – Betting Tips

Size, reach and height are key elements in any fight and it is notable that Eubank has the edge in all of these categories as the naturally bigger man.

However, Smith is right in that whenever Eubank Jr has stepped up against top quality opponents, he has fallen short from time to time.

Losses to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves are countered by wins over the likes of James DeGale and Liam Williams, although it can be argued both were past their best when they took on Eubank Jr.

Smith is another boxer probably past his best, but he has been in the ring with some high quality opponents and performed well, so I am going to back Smith to land a surprise win here.

Take Beefy Liam Smith to land the win at 2/1, with the win coming by decision or technical decision which is a 7/2 chance.  

Good Quality Undercard

It is not just the Eubank Jr v Smith fight that has attracted fight fans to Manchester this weekend, there is a strong undercard of boxing in support of the main event too.

An eye-catching bout sees the impressive Cruiserweight Richard Riakpohre taking on the experienced Krzysztof Glowacki.

Riakporhe holds an unblemished 15-win record from 15 fights, 11 coming by way of knockout and at 6ft 5 with a 77” reach he will be considerably taller than his Polish opponent.

Glowacki though has lost just three fights in a 35-fight career that has seen him twice crowned the WBO Cruiserweight World Champion. Those defeats coming against Oleksandr Usyk, Mairis Breidis and Lawrence Okoli.

There are also two heavyweight fights which could push some familiar names back into contention in the big boys division.

Joseph Parker is one of those back in action as he faces another English opponent in the shape of Cruiserweight Jack Massey after his loss back in September to heavyweight contender Joe Joyce.

Olympic Super-Heavyweight bronze medalist Frazer Clarke continues his move into the pro ranks looking to rack up his fifth win in five fights against Kevin Nicolas Espindola.

Other big fights include Matty Harris agains Jiri Surmaj, Scott Forrest against Amine Boucetta and Ekow Essuman taking on Chris Kongo.

The action begins from the AO Arena in Manchester at around 6pm on Saturday 21st January with the action being shown on PPV channel Sky Box Office.

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