Stadium: AO Arena
TV: Sky Sports Box Office
Liverpudlian Liam Smith will have lots of local support when facing Chris Eubank jr in Manchester and is backed to cause a minor upset.
Eubank will have a size advantage as a natural middleweight, but Smith has the speed, skill and work-rate to control this contest.
Punters can get 11/5 for the underdog to prevail and that is our main Chris Eubank jr vs Liam Smith prediction.
Chris Eubank jr Odds
Eubank has been out of action for almost a year after his proposed October showdown with Conor Benn was cancelled due to the latter failing a drugs test.
Next Gen has won 32 of his 34 professional bouts, with his two defeats coming against top-class opposition.
He suffered a split decision loss to Billy Joe Saunders when challenging for the British, Commonwealth and European middleweight titles in November 2014.
The 33-year-old was again outpointed when tackling George Groves for the WBA super-middleweight belt in February 2018.
His best wins have come against an ageing Arthur Abraham and James DeGale, each time getting the nod on the judges’ scorecards.
In his last fight, Eubank showed he can handle a grudge match in hostile territory when securing a unanimous decision versus former British and Commonwealth light-middleweight champion Liam Williams in Cardiff.
A rearranged clash with Benn could still be on the cards, while Canelo Alvarez has also been mentioned as a future opponent.
On this bout, Eubank said of Smith: “He’s a competent fighter, but class beats competence every day of the week.”
However, Next Gen can look sluggish and ponderous at times, which may open the door for Smith to pinch a few rounds.
Examining the 7/2.
Liam Smith Odds
Smith hails from a fighting family, with brothers Paul, Stephen and Callum all professional boxers, too.
He won two ABA titles as an amateur and has performed with great credit in the paid ranks.
Beefy became British and Commonwealth champion at light-middleweight before claiming the WBO crown.
His third defence was against Mexican superstar Alvarez in front of over 50,000 fans in Texas and there was no disgrace in a ninth-round defeat.
Smith has since lost on points to Jaime Munguia in Las Vegas and Magomed Kurbanov in Russia, but both of those fighters are world-class operators as well.
Three straight wins have put him back on track and there are few signs of the 34-year-old being ready to take one last pay-day before retiring.
On facing Eubank, Smith stated: “He’s making a big mistake fighting me in front of thousands of my fans in the North-West.
“Every time he has fought at the top level, he has failed. I know I am at that level and I’m confident he’ll lose again.”
Beefy will have to be focused throughout against a naturally bigger opponent who has the power to hurt him.
But he does have the technical ability to take this and 16/1 for the Liverpudlian to prevail despite being knocked down may be worth adding to our Chris Eubank jr vs Liam Smith betting tips.
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