Eubank Jr says he needs “statement” win over Smith to get Golovkin fight

By Boxing News - 01/21/2023 - Comments

By Jim Calfa: Chris Eubank Jr says he absolutely needs a “statement” win over Liam Smith this Saturday night for him to get the fight he wants against IBF/WBA middleweight champion Gennadiy ‘GGG’ Golovkin this year.

Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) states that he can’t narrowly defeat a junior middleweight like Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) if he wants the bigger names at 160 & 168.

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For Eubank Jr to get the statement win that he needs, he’s going to have to load up on his shots and target Smith’s midsection the way Canelo Alvarez did when he stopped him in 2016. Smith can take a good punch, but he’s vulnerable to the body.

“Yes, it’s important to win, and it’s important to make a statement,” said Chris Eubank Jr to the media on Friday when asked if he needed a statement win over Liam Smith on Saturday night.

I don’t want to scrape a win. I can’t be trying to fight GGG after this just barely beating a Liam Smith. I have to go out there and hurt this guy and take him out.

“Absolutely,” said Eubank Jr when asked if his goal was to fight IBF & WBA middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin in a stadium. “Huge names and belts, that’s the goal for this year.

“What do I make of it? I think it’s becoming a joke,” Eubank Jr said about the drug-popped Conor Benn, who has failed to drug tests for PEDs and still professing his innocence.

“I think he has to come clean and apologize for what he’s done and move forward. If he’s going to get a ban, take the ban. If he’s not, fight. But this whole thing about, ‘I’m innocent. You guys are going to find out.’ Nobody cares about that.

“He’s lost all his privileges. If he wants the fight, he fights at my weight. and on my terms,” said Eubank Jr.

What would make it worse is that the 34-year-old Smith is viewed as a fading 154-pounder, a fighter whose career has been on a slow downward descent since his ninth round knockout loss to Canelo Alvarez in September 2016.

In the seven years since that loss to Canelo, Liam has beaten no one of real quality, and it appears to have focused on fighting domestic & European-level opposition. Liam did go up against Jaime Munguia and was out-hustled by the younger, bigger, stronger & better-conditioned Mexican warrior in 2018.