Fight Week: Chris Eubank Jr. to face veteran Liam Smith in England

FIGHT WEEK

Middleweight contender Chris Eubank Jr. is scheduled to face veteran Liam Smith on Saturday night in Manchester, England.

SEAN HEMPHILL (14-0, 8 KOS) VS. DAVID STEVENS (11-0, 8 KOS)

  • When: Friday, Jan. 20

  • Time: 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

  • TV/Stream: Showtime

  • Division: Super middleweights (168 pounds)

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: NA

  • Also on the card: Atif Oberlton vs. Artem Brusov, light heavyweights; Julian Gonzalez vs. Rosalindo Morales, lightweights

  • Prediction: Stevens MD

  • Background: The first “ShoBox: The New Generation” show of the year features six fighters with a combined record of 61-0-1 (43 KOs). In the main event, former top U.S. amateurs Sean Hemphill and David Stevens will face off in a scheduled eight-round 168-pound bout. Hemphill is a 27-year-old from New Orleans who is trained by Buddy McGirt. The 22-year-old Stevens is from Reading, Pennsylvania, about a one-hour drive from the site of the fight. He works with Ronnie Shields. Also on the card, Atif Oberlton (7-0, 6 KOs) of Philadelphia will face Russian Artem Brusov (12-0, 11 KOs) in a scheduled eight-round 175-pound matchup. And Julian Gonzalez (8-0-1, 8 KOs) of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will fight Rosalindo Morales (9-0, 2 KOs) of Ellwood, Pennsylvania in a scheduled eight-round 135-pound bout.

 

CHRIS EUBANK JR. (32-2, 23 KOs) vs. LIAM SMITH (32-3-1, 19 KOs)

  • When: Saturday, Jan. 21

  • Time: 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT (main event later in show)

  • Where: AO Arena, Manchester, England

  • TV/Stream: DAZN

  • Division: Middleweight (160 pounds)

  • At stake: No major titles

  • Pound-for-pound ranking: None

  • Odds: Eubank 2½-1 favorite (average of multiple outlets)

  • Also on the card: Richard Riakporhe vs. Krzysztof Głowacki, cruiserweights; Joseph Parker vs. Jack Massey, heavyweights; Ekow Essuman vs. Chris Kongo, welterweights

  • Prediction: Eubank UD

  • Background: Chris Eubank Jr. was scheduled meet rival Conor Benn in a much-anticipated 157-pound bout last Oct. 8 but the fight was scrapped after Benn tested positive for a banned substance. Three months later Eubank will face another fellow Englishman, former 154-pound titleholder Liam Smith. Eubank, 33, is on a roll, having won six consecutive fights since losing a unanimous decision to then-world titleholder George Groves in 2018. He last fought in February of last year, when he put Liam Williams down four times and won a wide decision. Smith, 34, also has enjoyed success recently. He has won three in a row since losing a unanimous decision to Magomed Kurbanov in May 2021. His most-recent fight was last September, when he stopped Hassan Mwakinyo in four rounds in a scheduled 12-round 160-pound bout. Smith is ranked at 154 pounds by all four major sanctioning bodies. He might be best known for losing his 154-pound title to Canelo Alvarez by a ninth-round knockout in 2016 at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas.

 

ALSO FIGHTING THIS WEEK

SATURDAY

  • Antonio Tarver Jr. vs. Drew Dwelly, junior middleweights, Tampa, Florida (FITE).

  • Jonathan Guidry vs. Bermane Stiverne, heavyweights, Miami (FITE and DonKing.com).

Story originally appeared on Boxing Junkie