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Liam Smith expects to fight the best version of Chris Eubank Jr on January 21st

Liam Smith is adamant that he will only see the best possible version of Chris Eubank Jr.

Liverpool's Smith, a former WBO junior middleweight champion and from a proud fighting dynasty, has gotten annoyed by talk of the second-generation fighter entering their middleweight battle on January 21 at under 50%.

“Nobody believes he’s going to be 50 percent,” Smith told iD Boxing. “If a Canelo or someone elite said he only needs to be 50 percent, you think ‘Okay, the man’s a class act.

“Chris is bang average but a good, fit athlete,” “If you need to be 50 percent… if he needs to be 50 percent to beat me, I may as well not show up.”

Since partnering with the UK-based promoter last summer, Smith (32-3-1, 19KOs) has competed twice under the Boxxer brand. The 34-year-old former champion joined the organization hoping to challenge Eubank (32-2, 23KOs), who chose to compete in a rematch with Conor Benn on October 8. After Benn's positive drug test was made public and the British Boxing Board of Control declined to approve the match, their bout was called off.

Eubank revised his plans with Smith as a result of the development. They agreed that their fight would be the main event of a Sky Sports Box Office broadcast on January 21 from Manchester, England's AO Arena.

Since losing to then-unbeaten WBO junior middleweight champion Jaime Munguia in a twelve-round fight in July 2017, Smith has won six of his previous seven fights. That same championship had previously belonged to Smith, who was defeated by Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in the ninth round in September 2016.

'Beefy' Smith's only other loss in his professional career occurred in an ambiguous situation. In May 2021, he lost an extremely dubious decision on the road in Ekaterinburg to the unbeaten Magomed Kurbanov. Most people thought he was unlucky not to win their title eliminator.

Since then, Smith has won three straight bouts inside the distance. In their all-Liverpool fight in October 2021, Anthony Fowler was stopped in the eighth round, making a statement. Six months later, on April 30, 2016, in New York City, Smith beat Jessie Vargas into submission at 0:41 of the tenth round. On September 3, 2016, in his birthplace of Liverpool, Smith knocked out Hassan Mwakinyo in the fourth round.


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