Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will once again go toe-to-toe in a highly-anticipated all-British middleweight showdown at Manchester's AO Arena this weekend.
Odds-on 4/6 favourite Smith secured a fourth-round stoppage victory over 6/5 shot Eubank Jr at the same venue at the turn of the year in an a pulsating British middleweight contest and the rematch clause has since been activated.
The two were scheduled to get it back on earlier this summer but a hand injury to Smith saw the bout postponed on two occasions - in both June and July.
However, the Liverpudlian has been given the all-clear to make his return at the third time of asking, and the date has been set for early September.
Here's everything you need to know ahead of the fight:
|What||Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr 2|
|Where||AO Arena, Manchester|
|When||22:00, Saturday, September 2nd|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Box Office|
|Odds||Liam Smith 4/6, Chris Eubank Jr 6/5|
The highly-anticipated rematch between bitter middleweight pair Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr set to collide this Saturday.
Live on Sky Sports Box Office, the blockbuster event will bring the heated rivalry to a fiery conclusion in the nation's capital, just nine months after their electrifying encounter in Manchester.
A frenetic firefight lasted just round rounds as Liverpudlian Smith landed a devastating barrage of punches to stun his opponent and send the majority of the crowd inside the AO Arena into raptures.
Whilst Eubank Jr was graceful in defeat in the immediate aftermath of the stoppage, there was subsequent controversy as the Londoner and his team pinpointed an alleged elbow from Smith just before the referee's fourth round intervention.
The former world champion immediately activated his rematch clause but has been forced to wait for a second shot at Smith as a consequence of hand injury to the Liverpool man; one that ultimately put pay to their hopes of sharing the ring in both June and July.
Ben Shalom, BOXXER's promoter and CEO, said: The rivalry between Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr has quickly become one of the most heated in British boxing.
Their January fight set viewership records for their weight category on Sky and was one of the most exciting encounters in BOXXER history.
"We're expecting tickets to fly out for September 2nd at the AO Arena as fans rush to be ringside for what is guaranteed to be another unbelievable firefight!"
Meanwhile, Eubank Jr, whose world title aspirations would almost certainly be over with another defeat, believes that the forthcoming summer showdown will provide him with his day of reckoning.
"No more excuses, no more postponements, Smith can't run forever. September 2nd is the day of my revenge," the 33-year-old said.
Smith however, is fully confident of repeating his Manchester heroics and striking the final blow to the career of his illustrious opponent.
"I'm glad that the date is now set and we can look forward to getting rid of this itch that needs scratching," he said. "I'm fully healed-up now, injury free, and I'm looking forward to finishing Chris Eubank Jr's career.
View the latest odds for Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr
The bout is set for this weekend, Saturday 2nd September 2023.
The main card will get underway at 19:00 BST, with the main event ring walks scheduled for around 22:00 BST, though it depends on the length of the undercard fights.
The rematch is scheduled to take place at Manchester's AO Arena, the same venue in which BOXXER housed the original meeting between the pair earlier this year.
Viewers in the UK can tune into the fight on Sky Sports Box Office, with the bout priced at £19.95.
No titles will be won and lost in Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr 2, although Smith is a former world champion at light-middleweight.
Victory for Smith however, will likely catapult him right back into the world title mix.
Eubank Jr was on an impressive winning streak of six fights before he saw his run brought to an end by Smith last time out in January.
Eubank Jr beat JJ McDonagh in Saudi Arabia in September 2018 to start the run of victories, before seeing off the likes of James DeGale, Matt Korobov, Marcus Morrison, Wanik Awdijan and Liam Williams.
That streak of course came to an end thanks to Smith, who won by TKO in the fourth round of their first clash in Manchester.
In 35 fights as a professional, Eubank Jr has now lost three times, his first defeat coming as a split decision against Billy Joe Saunders in London in 2014, before losing to fellow Englishman George Groves via unanimous decision .
Meanwhile, Smith lost against Magomed Kurbanov in Ekaterinburg, Russia, in May 2021, when challenging for the WBO International light-middleweight title.
But a series of four wins has seen him turn his form around, with Anthony Fowler disposed of in Smith’s hometown that October by TKO, before another victory in Liverpool over Hassan Mwakinyo that followed the defeat of Jessie Vargas in New York in April.
The win over Eubank Jr at the start of the year made it four victories on the spin for Smith.
Since losing to Jaime Munguia five years ago, Liam Smith has improved with each passing year.
Now 35, the no-nonsense Scouser is enjoying the best period of his career with friend and trainer Joe McNally in his corner.
The niggling back injury which postponed the Eubank rematch is unlikely to be an issue as he looks to put this rivalry behind him.
His emphatic win in January surprised many but not Smith who has an unshakeable confidence that he has Eubank’s number. Styles make fights and sometimes there are two fighters where one is all wrong for the other.
Smith will unlikely change anything ahead of the bout this weekend.
His fundamentals are a great base to build off and create a host of problems for whoever is in the opposite corner. A high guard, solid jab, front-foot pressure, cornering his opponent and then teeing off to the body and head has been Smith’s recipe for success over the years.
The silver haired Liverpudlian must end this nine-month chapter of his career if he’s to maintain ambitions of another world title shot.
|Good fundamentals||Prone to cuts|
|Body shots||Red mist|
|Chin||Not the quickest|
|Pressure fighter||Vulnerable in exchanges|
The biggest question for fans of Chris Eubank Jr has been who will train him for his rematch with Liam Smith?
Near the end of last month, Roy Jones Jr announced he would no longer be working with him, citing scheduling issues as the reason.
Two months earlier, Eubank brought in friend and former two-weight world champion David Haye to assist with his preparations. Now Next Gen has announced he will be trained for this weekends bout by American Brain 'BoMac' McIntyre, who has trainer Terence Crawford for his entire career.
Eubank has always been his own man and for a number of fights only had the presence of his father and Ronnie Davies in the corner. They were merely figures there to assist rather than help and coach.
Not having Jones Jr in between rounds may encourage Eubank to return to his old all-action style which was thrilling to watch. But his world-class chin, so often a dependable last line of defence, let him down in January against Smith.
Could that have been a result of trying to make 157lbs (three short of the middleweight limit) for the cancelled October 2022 catchweight fight against Conor Benn?
Eubank looks to have outgrown middleweight and will need to be in tip-top condition to survive Smith’s relentlessness.
|Jab||Caught between styles|
|Liam Smith (4/6) v Chris Eubank Jr (6/5) 2||Middleweight bout|
|Adam Azim (1/16) v Aram Faniian (9/1)||Super lightweight bout|
|Frazer Clarke v Dave Allen||Heavyweight bout|
|Mark Heffron v Jack Cullen||Super middleweight British title bout|
|Mikaela Mayer v Silvia Bortot||Super lightweight bout|
|Florian Marku v Dylan Moran||Welterweight bout|
Further details for the undercard will be announced in due course.
View the latest upcoming boxing odds
Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation.