Liam “Beefy” Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs) destroyed the bigger, stronger & faster Chris Eubank Jr (32-3, 23 KOs) by a surprise fourth round knockout victory in their middleweight clash on Saturday night at the AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Eubank Jr looked like he was on his way to an easy victory through three rounds, but then he made a fatal mistake by backing up to the corner in the fourth round, allowing Smith to tee off on him.
Taking advantage of Eubank Jr’s mistake, Smith hurt him with a right hand to the head, and then continued to nail him with huge shots, resulting in him hitting the deck. When Eubank Jr got up, his legs were gone, and he staggered around.
When the fight resumed, Smith knocked Eubank Jr down for a second time, causing referee Victor Loughlin to step in and stop the fight.
With there being a rematch clause in the contract, we’ll likely see Smith and Eubank Jr meeting again. It’ll be up to Eubank Jr to decide whether he wants a rematch with Smith or not.
Cruiserweight contender Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KOs) dispatched the past his best former two-time WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki (32-4, 20 KOs), by a fourth round knockout in a one-sided fight.
Riakporhe hurt Glowacki with a big right hand to the head in the fourth, and then went for the finish, nailing the 36-year-old Polish fighter with repeated sledgehammer blows while he covered up in the corner.
The referee Howard Foster finally decided he’d seen enough and stepped in and halted the bout.
In the second round, Riakporhe, 33, hurt Glowacki with a straight right hand to the head, but when he attempted to finish him, he missed repeatedly on the inside, allowing the Polish fighter to quickly recover to make it out of the round.
All in all, it was a good performance of Riakporhe. If there’s any criticism you can direct at him is his lack of an inside game. Riakporhe looked poor in close, often missing shots at point-blank range and not generating the same power on his punches as he had from the outside.
Against a fighter with a good inside game that knows how to smother their opponents, Riakporhe will be in trouble.
Glowacki has now lost three out of his last four fights, and he looks nothing like the fighter he’d been in 2015 & 2016 when he defeated Marco Huck and Steve Cunningham to make a name for himself.
Welterweight Ekow Essuman (19-0, 7 KOs) put on a masterclass, beating Chris Kongo (14-2, 7 KOs) by an entertaining 12 round majority decision.
Many of the rounds were difficult to score as the fight was a seesaw battle, with both guys having their moments. The scores were 116-113, 115-114, and 114-114. With a different set of judges, we probably would have seen Kongo given the win.
Joseph Parker (31-3, 21 KOs) fought aggressively tonight, taking the fight to the smaller, weaker Jack Massey (20-2, 11 KOs) to win an impressive 10 round unanimous decision.
Parker was making a quick ring return after having been knocked out in the 11th round last September by Joe Joyce.
Compared to that fight, Parker was a lot more aggressive tonight against Massey, and he picked up some of the things he learned from Joyce by hammering away at his opponent’s body when he would clinch. The aggressive style that Joyce used against Parker rubbed off, making him a better fighter than he’d been previously.
Massey looked afraid of the power of Parker, as he was getting nailed with monstrous shots through the first six rounds. Rather than using his footwork, Massey continually backed up against the ropes and covered up, allowing Parker to tee off with nice shots.
Massey frequently held, trying to keep Parker from landing shots. To his credit, Parker flailed away at the body of Massey when he would hold, making him pay for his attempts to negate his offense.
In the eighth, Massey lost a point for throwing low blows. Both guys were roughing each other up through most of the fight, but the referee put his foot down in that one instance.
The judge’s scores:
Heavyweight Frazer Clarke (5-0, 4 KOs) had too much firepower for the overmatched Kevin Nicolas Espindola (7-7, 2 KOs), scoring a fourth round injury stoppage in a six round scheduled bout.
Espindola hurt his right hand, and chose not to continue after the fourth round. The time of the stoppage was at 3:00 of the fourth. Clarke has his way with the Argentinian Espindola, hitting him at will with huge right hands to the head and walking him down to bludgeon him with shots.
On the negative side, Clarke looked slow and was getting hit with shots that he shouldn’t have been by Espindola.
Preview: Liam Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) will be coming up in weight to take on the bigger Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 KOs) and will be giving away size, speed & power.
What Smith does have is a relentless fighting style and pressure style of fighting that could wear down Eubank Jr, who hasn’t been in a war since his loss to George Groves in 2018.
Stephen Smith: “Liam beats him in every department”
As far as physical attributes, Eubank Jr has the advantages in terms of being the bigger man, having fought at the heavier weight,” said Stephen Smith to Boxing King Media.
“He’s quite an athletic fellow, but other than that, everything written in terms of boxing ability and the ring IQ and the experience, it all goes to Liam’s favor.
“I think Liam beats him in every department. The only thing he’s got is quick hands, Eubank. Besides from that, I think Liam beats him in every department.
“Liam comes across as aggressive all the time. The way he speaks, that’s just Liam. Chris is trying to convince everyone that he’s in Liam’s head. He’s trying to convince himself.
“I’ve been with Liam all week, and I’m very happy with where Liam is. The respect is there. They both know they’re in a fight. That’s what all the rematch clause business is about.
“He’s made it out like it’s an easier fight than Conor Benn, yet he didn’t have a rematch clause with Conor Benn. He made sure there was one with this fight with Liam.
“We know Liam is prepared. He’s [Liam] just a better fighter with the better ring IQ and ring generalship, and he can do it all, in my opinion. Skills pay the bills is the old saying, and I’m very confident of what Liam is bringing to the ring.
“Regarding the outcome of the fight, all the expert’s opinions going to points is due to the respect of both fighters. I think the fans are going to see a good fight with two tough men going at it. The fact that everyone is picking points shows that it’s going to be a good fight,” said Smith.
Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith will look to pull off an upset tonight when he takes on the A-side Chris Eubank Jr at middleweight in what could be a sure night on DAZN in Manchester, England. The Eubank Jr vs. Smith event will be shown LIVE on DAZN in the U.S., beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET and on Sky Box Office PPV in the UK.