Home Boxing News Liam Smith says he has hurt Chris Eubank Jr in sparring, promises...

Liam Smith says he has hurt Chris Eubank Jr in sparring, promises to do it again in prize ring

Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith 32-3-1 (19) is certain that he can hurt Chris Eubank Jr 32-2 (23) in their middleweight grudge match at the AO Arena in Manchester, England on January 21.

It won’t be the first time the pair have shared a ring. The duo have sparred previously in the past and Smith says he has gotten the better of Eubank Jr in the gym and is confident he can do it again in the prize ring.

Eubank Jr has shown a solid chin in the past with his two losses – to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves – both coming on points.

Smith is relishing the opportunity to trade leather with Eubank Jr in smaller gloves.

“I know for a fact I’ve hurt him in sparring. So, I know I can hurt him, especially with 10-ounce gloves on, especially at 160-pound,” Smith said to talkSPORT.

There is a lot on the line for both boxers. At 34, Smith is entering his 15th year as a pro. Victory for the former WBO junior middleweight champion will keep him in the mix for another world title shot.

The 33-year-old Eubank Jr, who turned pro in 2011, is ranked in the top five at 160-pounds by the WBC, WBA and WBO. His hopes of a shot at either WBA and IBF middleweight champion Gennadiy Golovkin 42-2-1 (37) or undisputed super middleweight champion Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez 58-2-2 (39) will go up in smoke if he loses to Smith.

“I know Chris Eubank is a tough fight. You know, he’s a big middleweight and that is why this fight is a 50/50 fight or why people maybe favour Chris,” Smith said.

“People do not think Chris Eubank Jr is a better fighter than me. If this fight is at 154-pounds, I’m a big favourite in this fight. I’m going to 160-pounds.”

Eubank Jr was scheduled to fight welterweight Conor ‘The Destoryer’ Benn 21-0 (14) at a catchweight last year but that bout was scratched when Benn returned a dirty drug test. Benn is currently trying to clear his name and return to the ring.

The Eubank and Benn names are intrinsically linked after their fathers Chris Eubank Sr and Nigel Benn fought a brace of bouts in the early 1990s. Eubank Sr got the better of Benn, going 1-0-1 in the series of bouts.

Despite moving up in weight, Smith believes that Eubank Jr struggles to make weight.

“A lot has been made of him making this weight last time around,” Smith said.

“He didn’t make the 157-pound limit for Conor, he put that picture up and he’s 159.3-pounds. You know, he’s trying to kid the public, he doesn’t do the weight as well as he says he does the weight.

“So, a lot will be answered in this fight at 160-pounds.”