By Charles Brun: DAZN will be streaming the January 21st fight between Chris Eubank Jr vs. Liam Smith to U.S, Canada, DACH & Japanese fans that subscribe to their platform.
The former WBO junior middleweight champion ‘Beefy’ Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) and former IBO 168-lb champion Eubank Jr will meet in a 12-round match in the 160-lb division at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
While it would seem like a nothing fight to the average hardcore boxing fans, as both guys are pretty old, with their chances of winning world titles essentially zero, it makes sense for DAZN to stream this match-up because Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) could soon be facing Conor Benn.
That’s a big British-level fight that will attract interest from boxing fans in the U.S., Canada, and, of course, the UK. Benn still needs to be cleared from his investigation for his two positive tests for clomifene before he and Eubank Jr can get it on in 2023.
“DAZN are always looking to deliver the best boxing schedule to our subscribers, and we are proud to be showing this huge fight between two of Britain’s finest,” said Joe Markowski, CEO of DAZN North America.
The 34-year-old Liam Smith has already been beaten by Canelo Alvarez, Jaime Munguia, and Magomed Kurbanov.
It’s fair to say that 15-year veteran Liam’s best win in the last ten years is a tenth round stoppage of a washed-up former welterweight Jessie Vargas last April.
Liam was barely ahead on two of the judges’ scorecards at 86-85 & 86-85 at the time of the stoppage in the tenth round. That fight showed that Liam Smith is not a major player at 154, and of course, he doesn’t belong at 160, fighting Eubank Jr or anybody for that matter.
Eubank Jr, 33, has focused on taking on domestic-level competition for the most part since losing in his only shot at fighting for a world-level belt in a failed effort to capture the WBA super middleweight title against George Groves in February 2018 in the World Boxing Super Series.
Since that fight, Eubank Jr has won six straight, albeit against lesser opposition that has done zero for his career other than giving him paydays but not huge ones.
In the last five years, we’ve seen no ambition from Eubank Jr, as he’s just been content to face ham & eggers like Liam Williams, J.J. McDonagh, Marcus Morrison, Wanik Awdijan, Matt Korobov, and a shot James DeGale.
What many boxing fans are asking is why isn’t Eubank Jr fighting a contender from the 160-lb division instead of reaching down to the 154-lb weight class to face an old Liam Smith? With Eubank Jr’s high ranking at 160, he should be fighting these types of fighters in the middleweight division:
- Jaime Munguia
- Janibek Alimkhanuly
- Carlos Adames
- Austin Williams
- Felix Cash
- Esquiva Falcao
- Ryota Murata
If Eubank Jr wants to fight 154-pounders, he should have picked these guys instead of Liam Smith: Sebastian Fundora, Tony Harrison, Erickson Lubin, Tim Tszyu, Charles Conwell, Israil Madrimov, Brian Castano, or Xander Zayas.