Liam Smith is confident a clash with Chris Eubank Jr. will only result in an explosive clash and a memorable victory.
Smith, a former world champion, is stepping up to middleweight to take on his British rival at Manchester’s AO Arena on January 21st.
“I’m thrilled with it,” Smith said sky sports“I know it’s nothing but a good fight and that’s something I have a lot of confidence in.
“I think I beat Chris Eubank Jr. It will cement me as a big name in British boxing. I have a lot of confidence in doing it.”
Smith believes Eubank’s style of boxing changed under the influence of boxing legend Roy Jones, who had trained him. He asserts that he will not be able to resist being directly involved.
It’s exactly the type of fight the Liverpool man wants.
“In terms of style, he’s at his best when he’s fighting people, he’s trying to show his fitness, he’s got a good chin. In that sense, he’s at his best.” And I feel like I’m at my best in that sense, too, when you’re coming into a fight with someone and you’re trying to walk or break someone,” Smith said.
“The emphasis will be on Chris trying to box, like Roy had him boxing. I feel like I’m taking advantage of that all day,” Smith continued.[Then] He can only go back to what he likes and what he knows, and it comes and fights.
“I think the fight has to go back there. Once it’s back, it’ll catch fire, and I’ll welcome you with open arms.”
Smith believes Eubank will punish him regardless of whether he fights on the front or back legs.
“I have some respect for him, but I know it’s going to be a tough fight for everyone because of what he brings. He’s a good athlete, he’s strong, he’s fit. “I feel like there are a lot of vulnerabilities in his game that can be exploited,” he said.
“With a 10 oz glove on, I’ll hit the right shot to anyone’s chin. I’m sure I can hurt anyone. Chris Eubank Jr. is no exception. He’s got a good chin.” But anyone can get knocked out.”
Winning this fight would be one of the biggest moments in Smith’s career for personal reasons as a professional.
“As a person, from what he shows me, he’s not really my cup of tea,” Smith said. I figured that if the fight was offered to me, I would take it.
“There’s nothing like domestic rivalry and domestic dust. When you get two big names, there’s nothing like the build-up towards it.
“This is a big fight for me, and it’s going to be a big fight in British boxing.
Rather than fighting at catchweight, Smith moved up from super-welterweight to middleweight for this fight.
That concession should work in favor of the bigger man, Eubank. But Smith admits there are weaknesses.
“I wish I was 159 pounds, 158 pounds. But you’ve seen Conor Benn’s 157 pounds stink a lot. [for the fight that fell through] And I knew I wasn’t going to let him go that low,” Smith said.
“But I also know from their fear and skepticism that they’re not going to fight me at 157 or 158. They won’t even fight me at 159. They’re their own. I know they’re fighting, and their weaknesses in the fight too.
“I think he respects me,” he added. “Otherwise he would be stupid.
“If it’s ready, it will be ready on January 21st.”