Saturday night sees a stacked card for the Sky Sports Box Office event at the AO Arena, Manchester. The main event is an all-English contest between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith in a non-title middleweight clash. We’ve previewed the fight and given you our best bets.
Eubank Jr vs Smith Predictions
- Fight to go the distance No – 7/4
- Chris Eubank Jr to win by KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision – 5/2
- Chris Eubank Jr to win in rounds 7-12 – 9/2
Enigmatic middleweight, Chris Eubank Jr, saw his recent, much anticipated fight against Conor Benn scuppered at the final hour, after multiple failed drugs tests by the latter.
The 33-year-old spent little time in announcing he would be fighting another English rival in Liverpool’s Liam Smith, who has fought some of the biggest names in the lower weight division.
The pre fight build up has been entertaining as you would expect, with Smith seemingly refusing to rise to Eubank’s bait, before it was leaked by the Brighton fighter that he had slid into his DM’s with some well timed insults.
But exactly when is the fight taking place and how will it go down? Let’s dig in…
Where and when is the fight taking place?
The fight is happening at the AO Arena in Manchester on Saturday 21st January and will be broadcast live and exclusively on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK. The event will be a Ben Shalom promotion for BOXXER promotions. The show will start at 6pm, with the main ring walk taking place at around 10pm.
What does the full fight card look like?
- MAIN EVENT: Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith
- Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo
- Frazer Clarke vs Kevin Nicolas Espindola
- Joseph Parker vs Jack Massey
- Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki
- Scott Forrest vs Amine Boucetta
- Matty Harris vs Jiri Surmaj
(subject to change)
Who’s the favourite?
Eubank Jr is a heavy 2/5 favourite, with Smith a 2/1 shot. The draw is available at 16/1 at the time of writing.
What’s been said?
“He’s a competent fighter, but class beats competence every day of the week. It’s a good opportunity for me to show I’m twice the fighter that he is as well as those he has faced.
Sixty per cent is much too generous to give to Liam Smith. He’s below that and if he’s ready for it then he will receive it.”
“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. 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.”
Fight to go the distance No – 7/4
Both of these men have decent KO ratios, with Eubank Jr the better at 72% of his wins coming via stoppage. The Liverpudlian has won 19 of his 32 wins inside the distance (60%).
On the strength of those statistics alone the 7/4 on offer looks value for money.
Chris Eubank Jr to win by KO/TKO/DQ/Technical Decision – 5/2
That said, both men do have exceptional chins and it will take a decent punch of a flurry of combination shots to finish off the other.
Of the two, CEJ has the better pedigree and has fought most of his career at this weight, so has the better credentials to end this one inside the distance.
I can’t really see any scenario where Smith takes out Eubank and eventually the latter’s volume of work rate and power will show.
Smith is a proud fighter and has no quit, so I expect him to go out on his shield, or the referee/corner stopping this one late.
We will be Top Price or joint Top Price on Eubank Jr. to win by KO/TKO (Available from 9:30am Saturday)
Chris Eubank Jr to win in rounds 7-12 – 9/2
As a bit of a longer shot, I’ve narrowed it down to the second half of the fight, where I think Eubank Jr’s stamina and power will start to show.
The 9/2 available looks a really nice price, if this fight goes as I expect it to.
Enjoy the fight!
*All prices correct at the time of writing.
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