Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith Preview September 2nd, 2023
Former IBO Super Middleweight Champion Chris Eubank Jr. takes on fellow Englishman and former WBO Jr Middleweight Champ Liam Smith in Manchester this Saturday, September 2nd in a huge domestic fight rematch. They first met in late January with Smith winning by a controversial fourth-round TKO. The 12-round bout from the Manchester Arena is scheduled to be shown on Sky Sports Box Office in the UK with ESPN+ airing it in America.
Eubank Jr. vs Smith Betting Odds
- Chris Eubank Jr. +120
- Liam Smith -150
The 33-year-old Eubank Jr enters the ring at 32-3 with 23 Ko’s. He won the IBO Super Middleweight Title in 2017 when he stopped Renold Quinlan in the 10th round then defended it against Arthur Abraham and Avni Yildirim before losing it to George Groves via unanimous decision in 2018. His first pro defeat came in 2014 when Billy Joe Saunders beat him by split decision for the European, British and Commonwealth Middleweight Championship Belts.
Eubank also has a win over James DeGale by unanimous decision in 2019 to regain the IBO Super Middleweight Crown. However, he has since dropped down in weight to compete as a middleweight. He possesses good power and boxing skills and has 217 rounds of experience since turning pro in 2011 following a fine amateur career. He’s also beaten Nick Blackwell, Dmitrii Chudinov, Gary O’Sullivan and Bradley Price.
Eubank stands 5-feet-11-inches tall with a 72.5-inch and has often displayed impressive power up to now with a current knockout ratio of 71.9 per cent. He’s been dropped, wobbled and cut a couple of times in the ring, but actually has a pretty good chin. Eubank’s at his best when he overwhelms his opponent with his relentless punching and is hard to keep at bay because of it. However, he isn’t the hardest guy to hit if he gets goaded into a slugfest, but most boxers prefer not to go toe-to-toe with him. Saunders beat him by outboxing him in a close fight while the loss against Groves was more of a brawl.
The 35-year-old ‘Beefy’ Smith won the vacant WBO Junior Middleweight Title against John Thompson via a seventh-round TKO in October, 2015 and defended it by stopping fellow Brit Jimmy Kelly in the seventh round two months later. He then defended against Predrag Radosevic by a second-round stoppage in June, 2016. However, he lost the title three months later when Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez stopped him in the ninth round.
Smith is also a former British and Commonwealth Champion who has won a couple other belts such as the WBO Inter-Continental and WBA International Super Welterweight Titles. He also became the first world champion to hail from Liverpool in 22 years when he won the world WBO crown. Since losing his belt to Alvarez he’s also won two fights against Liam Williams as well as stopping Sam Eggington, Anthony Fowler, Jessie Vargas and Mario Lozano and decisioned Roberto Garcia and Marian Cazacu.
In that span, Smith also had a shot at regaining the WBO Title in 2018 when he lost a unanimous decision to Jaime Munguia. He also fought for the vacant WBO International Super Welterweight Title in Russia in 2021 against Magomed Kurbanov but dropped a controversial unanimous decision. This means he now carries around a record of 33-3-1 with 19 Ko’s. His lone draw was a four-round affair with Terry Carruthers in 2010.
Smith is on the short side for a middleweight at just over 5-feet-9-inches tall and has a 69-inch reach, so gives up 1.5-inches in height to Eubank as well as 3.5-inches in reach. He made his pro debut back in 2008 after a fine amateur career and now has 232 rounds under his belt since then. Smith has above-average power in his fists as his knockout ratio currently stands at 60.6 per cent as 20 of his 33 wins have come by stoppage, including four in a row and six of his last seven victories.
Eubank hasn’t really fought too many elite boxers during his career with most of his biggest fights being domestic clashes, which is what we have here against Smith. Eubank may be the better boxer when it comes to skills but he doesn’t always put them to use. He doesn’t match Smith when it comes to work ethic so he better be fully prepared to fight three minutes of every round at a pretty high pace. That being said, he started well against Smith in January until he was caught by his onrushing opponent. However, Smith nailed him with an elbow during the exchange which would have made famous hockey player Gordie Howe proud and that’s what caused the controversy. I predicted Eubank in the first contest and believed it would be a close fight and a draw not being out of the question. I’m actually taking Eubank again as long as he isn’t drained from trying to make the weight as I feel he knows just what to expect this time around and a victory could lead to a rubber match down the road.
Eubank possesses the better natural skills and power.
Play: Eubank +120 @ BetOnline.ag
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