Fight time, undercard, latest odds, prediction, ring walks tonight
It’s been just over three months now since a failed Benn drug test saw this highly anticipated bout canceled on fight week, although all parties initially insisted it would go ahead.
Instead, it’s a real test for Eubank at the start of a year that he hopes will finally bring a world title.
CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW EUBANK JR VS SMITH LIVE!
In the two biggest fights of his career so far, against George Groves and Billy Joe Saunders, he came up short, but the 33-year-old produced a brilliant performance 11 months ago to claim victory over Liam Williams.
Smith was once a world champion, holding the WBO light middleweight title before being beaten by Canelo Alvarez in 2016. Since then he has also lost to Jaime Munguia and Magomed Kurbanov.
However, recent victories over Anthony Fowler and Jessie Vargas – as well as an odd loss to Hassan Mwakinyo in September – have put Smith’s career back on track and although the loss to Eubank may end his career, the victory will renew the hope of a last attempt to become double world champion.
The build-up to tonight’s main event has been shrouded in controversy, with Smith questioning Eubank Jr’s sexuality and Eubank Jr accusing Smith of cheating on his partner in a very ugly final press conference on Thursday.
The fighters apologized and Sky Sports condemned the “homophobic and offensive remarks”, with Eubank Jr then wearing a rainbow armband at Friday’s weigh-in.
“We don’t discriminate… we don’t alienate,” he said. “We want boxing and the sport as a whole to be all inclusive.”
Eubank Jr vs Smith date, start time, location and ring walks
Eubank Jr vs Smith takes place tonight on Saturday 21st January 2023 at the AO Arena, Manchester.
The card is expected to start around 7pm GMT, with the main event around 10pm. As always, these times are subject to change depending on the length of the undercard bouts.
Eubank Jr vs Smith fight card / undercard in full
Joseph Parker returns to the ring tonight with an impressive undercard, four months after his loss to Joe Joyce in a heavyweight thriller in the same arena.
This halted his attempts to get back in the hunt for the world title, and he now faces Jack Massey. The 29-year-old has been out of the ring since November 2021, and the IBO heavyweight title roster is gearing up for a daunting first heavyweight fight.
The British and Commonwealth welterweight titles hang in the balance as Chris Konga takes on Ekow Essuman, while Richard Riakporhe looks to prove he’s ready for a big-time hit as he takes on former world champion Krzysztof Glowacki. Olympic bronze medalist Frazer Clarke also takes his next professional step on the bill.
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith
Richard Riakporhe vs. Krzysztof Glowacki
Ekow Essuman vs. Chris Kongo
Joseph Parker vs. Jack Massey
Frazer Clarke vs. Kevin Nicolas Espindola
Matty Harris vs. Jiri Surmaj
Scott Forrest vs. Amine Boucetta
Frankie Stringer vs. Cristian Narvaez
How to watch Eubank Jr vs. Smith
TV channel: In the UK, Eubank Jr vs Smith is available to watch live tonight via pay-per-view on Sky Sports Box Office for £19.95.
Direct: Those who have purchased the fight can also watch it online via the Sky Sports Box Office downloadable player or the Sky Sports Box Office app.
Live: You can catch live coverage of the entire card tonight with Standard Sport Live Fight Blog.
Eubank Jr vs Smith fight prediction
Eubank Jr enters the fight as the favorite and he will be the biggest man in the ring. It remains to be seen whether he makes the most of this size advantage. With Roy Jones back in his corner, it wouldn’t be surprising if Eubank opted to try boxing from distance rather than trading with Smith, with the American bringing a more measured approach to the game plan.
Last time out against Williams, Eubank dropped the Welshman three times in the first four rounds but still couldn’t find the knockout blow, and against a tougher opponent he’s unlikely to drop his hands .
Eubank claimed in the build-up to his scheduled fight with Benn that he only needed to be 60% to win – he thinks it will take even less this weekend.
That’s certainly not the case, with Eubank surely knowing that he will have to be at his best if he is to avoid a third professional defeat. Smith has the experience of winning on the biggest stage, while there is still that doubt on Eubank when he steps up.
Smith will be looking to close the ring and he has the engine to keep that pressure up throughout the fight, even as Eubank fights his way to plenty of early rounds. It’s a fight that should last 12 rounds, with Smith’s work rate perhaps just enough to see him on the cards.
Smith wins on points.
Eubank Jr vs Smith weigh-in results
The two fighters tipped the scales at exactly 11 pounds on Friday afternoon in a tense weigh-in in which Eubank Jr wore a rainbow armband in response to the homophobic remarks. He also donned a Manchester United shirt to liquidate Liverpool-born Smith.
Eubank Jr vs Smith Betting Odds
Eubank Jr win: 2/5
Blacksmith to win: 2/1
Eubank Jr wins by KO, TKO or DQ: 11/4
Eubank Jr winner by decision/technical decision: 11/10
Smith wins by KO, TKO or DQ: 9/1
Smith wins by decision/technical decision: 3/1
Odds via Betfair (subject to change).
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