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Chris Eubank Jr v Liam Smith: Tale of the Tape

We have analysed the two British middleweights as they prepare to headline Manchester's AO Arena, with the winner edging closer to a world title shot.

There are enough reasons for Chris Eubank Jr (4/11) and Liam Smith (2/1) to believe they will be too good for the other on Saturday 21st January.

The middleweight main event, live on Sky Sports Box office, kicks off British boxing in 2023, with promotional company BOXXER getting a jump start on their rivals.

Separated by only one year in age, both fighters head into their clash having won 32 bouts apiece, with Smith tasting defeat on three occasions to Eubank Jr's two. 

And even though 'Beefy' Smith is jumping up to the 160-pound division, from 154-pound, this is a well-matched event which has the experts and pundits split on who will prevail.

But what are the strengths and weaknesses of these two experienced boxers? Where will the fight be won and lost, and what will ultimately separate them in the end? 

bet365's boxing writer Shaun Brown takes a closer look at the men who take centre stage in Manchester later this month.

Chris Eubank Jr


Height:5 foot 11 inches
Record:32-2 (23 KO's)
Trainer:Roy Jones Jr
Best Win:UD 12 v James DeGale (February, 2019)
Previous Titles:IBO super-middleweight & interim WBA middleweight
Last Fight:UD 12 v Liam Williams (February, 2022)

It’s easy to see why the Brighton boxer is the odds-on 4/11 favourite. 

Not only has he been in far fewer demanding fights than Smith but his speed and power have caused problems to many opponents and his Liverpudlian foe shouldn't prove a difficult target to make contact with.

Eubank has also taken his father’s world-class chin, posing the question how can he be hurt by a man stepping up in weight? 

But Eubank tends to get ragged, off-balance and look ungainly at times. Put him under pressure and he is there to be hit, but only if the other fighter can pin him down and absorb the punishment coming the other way. 

Last time out Eubank made relatively easy work of Liam Williams, but one question must be what did the Welshman have left to offer at a latter stage of his career - and why didn't Junior manage to finish him off?

For Eubank to beat Smith everything must come together and his movement and balance are key. If he can avoid being trapped and caught on the inside, he should score another points decision victory (21/20).


View latest Eubank Jr v Smith odds

Liam Smith


Height:5 foot 9 inches
Record:32-3-1 (19 KO's)
Trainer:Joe McNally
Best Win:TKO v Jessie Vargas (April, 2022)
Previous Titles:WBO super-welterweight
Last Fight:TKO v Hassan Mwakinyo (September, 2022)

It's absolutely imperative that 2/1 shot ‘Beefy’ starts strong and quick against Eubank Jr. 

The aim must surely be for Smith to unsettle Junior and turn it into a typically dogged affair that will suit the Liverpudlian. If not, and Eubank Jr manages to keep the fight at distance, then it could be a long night for the former super-welterweight world champion. 

Smith has enjoyed big nights in boxing, there is no doubt about that. But, for many, he has never won a so called 'marquee' fight, and beating Eubank would surely tick that box.

The 32-year-old must find a way to suffocate Eubank Jr; give him little time to think and ensure that when he takes his little breaks he strikes and takes advantage of the situation. 

Punch volume and work-rate will also be crucial with the likelihood that this will be a distance fight (Smith 7/1 to win on points). Chasing a deficit will only play into his opponent's hands. 

There is no doubt that Smith can win on the night, but he has to do everything that he does well, perfectly for the entire 36 minutes!


View latest Eubank Jr v Smith odds

Eubank Jr v Smith Prediction:

For me, Eubank Jr to keep his title hopes alive with a points victory, at 21/20, is where my money would be going.

There is no doubt that this bout will be his toughest since his defeat at the hands of George Groves five years ago, but Smith's history of suffering cuts could tempt those into the 9/2 being offered on Junior winning the fight in the second half (between rounds 7-12).

It's hugely unlikely that 'Beefy' carries the power to step up and stop a tried and test Eubank Jr, but backers of the well-supported Liverpool man can get on him at 7/1 to win by Decision. 

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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