Chris Eubank Jr. is looking down the barrel of a gun in which the gun represents his career at the championship levels. If Chris loses in the rematch to Liam Smith, it’s safe to say his career will have taken a major step back as he withers into fringe contender status.
As was the case in their first meeting, Liam Smith gets a boost to his career and surely another few paydays if victories on Saturday. This one is close on the betting books, with Chris Eubank Jr. hovering around as a +118 all the way to +140 underdog on proboxingodds.com.
Early this year, Liam Smith pulled off a sizable upset over Chris Eubank Jr. Topping it off, Liam did it in grand fashion, landing multiple heavy shots in combination (yes, 1 was an elbow) that saw Chris basically out on his feet. The son of a legend, Eubank, was so out of it at the time he appeared to be charging towards Smith in an attempt to continue the fight. Regardless of what the fighter says, in this case, the referee made the correct call because Chris was severely hurt, and his legs were done.
That said, in the first three frames, Chris Eubank Jr. did some good work scoring with his quick jab, pot shot right hands, and showing movement on defense. Speaking of defense, the one item to note on the negative side beyond getting stopped for Eubank was his stance. Heavily influenced at the time by his former trainer Roy Jones Jr. Chris’s left hand was draped down, swinging back and forth, looking just like RJJ. However, not having fought in that stance for a long period of time, it’s safe to say there will be holes. Credit Liam Smith for finding those holes in his defense and also being able to take advantage to the fullest extent.
In the 2nd and 3rd rounds, you could see Liam slowly but surely cutting off the ring and trapping Chris on the ropes or in corners. This boxing podcaster did not expect to see Eubank Jr. fighting in that exact manner, and that’s not to say he shouldn’t box on the outside at all in the rematch. He also can’t get caught up in pushing Liam Smith back in the early goings, although Eubank will have to go forward to make Smith uncomfortable on his back foot at times. He can do both in and out, but really he must stand his ground and use that jab for more than just scoring points.
Has making middleweight finally caught up to Eubank Jr. is a question being tossed around, and it’s a fair one. He didn’t look super drained or bad in the ring in 2022, winning a UD over Liam Williams, so it’s tough to answer yes. Using a higher guard than the Roy Jones style and circling Smith, holding ground, while other times bringing aggression to him is the key to victory. Shelling up in spots while on the ropes would work as long as Chris doesn’t stay in the shell for too long. This boxing junkie will admit to being torn on the outcome as well as being far more intrigued for this rematch on ESPN+ in the states.
Betting either man to win is a good bet based on what happened in the first three rounds and, ultimately, the knockout by Liam Smith. This will be a spirited bout that swings back in forth, with Eubank starting fast as far as rounds won and Smith’s hardnosed aggression titling it his way. Personally, this fight goes over the 10.5 and the answer on mybookie is ‘yes’ to the fight going the full 12 rounds. Just as a reminder going the distance regardless of who wins it pays well, with Smith +293 and Eubank Jr. +269.
My Official Prediction is Chris Eubank Jr. by Majority-Decision.
Podcast Link: #UsykDubios Low Blow Debate! #CaneloCharlo PPV Undercard! #SmithEubank2 & News! 08/29 by RopeADopeRadio | Sports (blogtalkradio.com)
Side Note: Keep an eye out for what could be a good scrap between Mark Heffron and Jack Cullen, along with fights featuring Adam Azim, Mikaela Mayer, and Frazer Clarke.
Written by Chris Carlson, Host/Producer of The Rope A Dope Radio Podcast Available at www.blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio Follow on Twitter @RopeADopeRadio