Liam Smith: “I know I’ll beat Chris” Eubank Jr on Jan.21
By Barry Holbrook: Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith feels confident that he will defeat Chris Eubank Jr. in their 12 round middleweight bout on January 21st at the Manchester Arena, Manchester, England.
The former WBO junior middleweight champion Beefy Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) isn’t sure whether he’ll stay at middleweight after beating Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) for a possible rematch or return to the 154-lb division to battle for one of the titles if they’re vacated or stripped from the current undisputed champion Jermell Charlo.
If the 34-year-old Smith defeats Eubank Jr, he wants it to take place in Anfield in Liverpool to give him the hometown advantage. However, at this point, that’s just wishful thinking on Smith’s part, as he’s the underdog and the chances are, he’ll be another notch on the belt of the bigger, stronger, faster, and arguably more talented 33-year-old Eubank Jr.
Most boxing fans would agree that Eubank Jr should focus on fighting contenders from the middleweight division rather than combing the 154 and 147-lb ranks to handpick smaller, less talented opposition for easy wins.
Before the Smith fight was scheduled, Eubank Jr had planned on fighting the inexperienced welterweight Conor Benn in a catchweight fight that had been scheduled for October 8th. The match would have made Eubank Jr millions, but alas, it was canceled after the young 26-year-old Benn tested positive for the banned substance clomifene.
“I’m 100 percent confident of beating Chris Eubank Jr, and if anything, I’ll probably have the option to stay at middleweight, go back to 154lbs if [the world] titles become vacant,” said the former WBO junior middleweight champion Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith to Sky Sports about his January 21st fight against highly ranked 160-lb contender Chris Eubank Jr.
“I fully intend on beating Chris. It will not harm any of my rankings; it will not move me back from the position I’m in. I think I’ll beat Chris, and then we’ll see how the picture unfolds,” said Beefy Smith.
On the undercard, former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (30-3, 21 KOs) will attempt to return to his winning ways by fighting cruiserweight Jack Massey (20-1, 11 KOs) in a must-win fight for the New Zealander.
Parker, 30, is coming off a royal thrashing at the hands of Joe Joyce last September, losing by an eleventh round knockout in Manchester.
Also on the card, undefeated cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe (15-0, 11 KOs) faces former WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki (32-3, 20 KOs).
The 36-year-old southpaw Glowacki has lost two out of his last three fights to Lawrence Okolie and Mairis Briedis.
While Glowacki is getting up there in age, he can still punch with either hand and is a formidable foe for the still-untested 32-year-old Riakporhe, who isn’t a spring chicken himself despite having only 15 fights under his belt during his six-year professional career.
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