Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Smith is scheduled for 12 rounds in the middleweight division as a featured boxing attraction from the AO Arena in Manchester.
This is a big-time fight for UK boxing and one that could factor heavily into the transitioning middleweight division. Boxing odds have the bigger Eubank a favorite at -275. Former junior middleweight champion Smith makes his middleweight debut as an underdog at +210.
Here are our picks and predictions for Eubank Jr. vs. Smith from Manchester.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith odds
|Method of victory||Chris Eubank Jr.||Liam Smith|
|Win by KO/TKO||+330||+800|
|Win by points or decision||+100||+320|
Odds courtesy of FanDuel as of January 17, 2023.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith betting predictions
Picks made on January 16. Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.
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Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith betting preview
Though this fight doesn’t have any major consequences for the middleweight division, it is a big regional fight in the UK. Eubank is the son of a former two-division champ and Hall of Famer, doing what he can to work his way to a title shot at 32 years old. Smith is a former junior middleweight champion from a fighting family which includes brothers Callum, Paul, and Stephen.
Eubanks has competed at middleweight for the majority of his career, but his biggest wins came one division higher. Known for his hand speed and motor mouth, Eubanks has scored wins over James DeGale, Arthur Abraham, and Liam Williams. That bout with Williams took place last February, where Eubanks scored four knockdowns though having to settle for a decision.
His fight with Conor Benn was canceled with plenty of controversies, so he’s happy that another big fighter materialized quickly. Eubank is 32-2 with 23 knockouts and a winner of his last five. The second-generation superstar has an average fight length of 6.26 rounds and possesses size, height, and reach advantages.
Smith is the more accomplished fighter as a former junior middleweight champion. Smith has fought the bulk of his career at junior middleweight and is better known for his losses to Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and Jaime Munguia than his wins against Jessie Vargas, John Thompson, and Sam Eggington.
The Liverpool native is tough and bruising on the inside. He has a 32-3 record with 19 knockouts, with his last fight taking place last September against Hassan Mwakinyo. Smith clocks in with an average fight length of 7.13 rounds and has won his last three fights by knockout.
Eubank and Smith don't deliver in big moments, so something has to give. If Eubank wants to stay on the radar for a clash with Gennadiy Golovkin or Jermall Charlo at some point, a loss here would be huge. As for Smith, a win over a regional rival could keep him secured for big fights in the UK as he also waits for another title shot.
Chris Eubank Jr. vs Liam Smith boxing prediction and best bet
Prediction: Eubank ML
Watching Eubank fight is like watching a living identity crisis. He’s a mix of his father and new trainer Roy Jones Jr., but a mishmash of their best qualities. He has good pop and hand speed but sloppy technique and waning focus. At 32, it is unlikely there is any more room for improvement.
Even so, that’s more than enough to beat his smaller and more predictable rival. Smith’s style is to bully smaller, slower opponents and overwhelm them with his activity on the inside. That didn’t work against Alvarez, nor did it against a true weight bully in Munguia. Without any standout power or a tricky technique, he’s as textbook as they come.
Eubank has all the advantages, with only his less-than-eventful career up to this point keeping the fight as close as the odds indicate. We see Eubank running away with this one on Saturday.
Prediction: Eubank moneyline (-275 at DraftKings)
Best Bet: Eubank by decision
Smith’s toughness will keep him up, though he'll ultimately find out that he's overmatched. There might be some rough moments early on, but Eubank won’t be troubled by the Smith, eventually making this a cat-and-mouse game by the sixth round.
One thing about Eubank is that he doesn’t finish well if his foes hang around past the opening third of the fight. Smith’s durability should be enough for Eubank to let off the gas, especially if the fight is his to lose going into the later rounds.
The call here is that Eubank takes the win on the scorecard at +120.
Prediction: Eubank by decision (+120 at DraftKings)