Kell Brook has tentatively picked a winner in the upcoming middleweight contest between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith – and his old foe Amir Khan agrees.
Following his fight with Conor Benn falling through, Eubank finally has an opponent set for almost one year after he was last in the ring against Liam Williams in Cardiff.
Smith has fought twice this year – a very good win against Jesse Vargas in New York, and one against Hassan Mwakinyo that didn’t do much for his progression.
Kell Brook, who retired this year following a career-defining victory over Amir Khan, has had his say on the fight – confident on who he wants to win, less so on who will. The former world champion explained to Boxing King Media.
“I think it’s a good fight. It’s one [that] I’ll definitely be watching. He’s not my cup of tea, Chris Eubank, I think we all know that. I want Liam Smith to win. I believe he will win. I’m basing that on he’s underestimated Liam Smith.”
Despite the bad blood, Brook did go on to compliment Eubank – sort of. He also admitted that his bias against the Brighton man might be what’s swaying him towards Smith for the victory, but kept his pick the same.
“You know he can punch, Eubank. He’s got a great engine. He’s not the best boxer in the world. It is a good fight. It’s a match ’em fight. It’s a good question what you just said to me. Maybe [because I don’t like Eubank] that’s part of my answer. I don’t know. I do think it’s a tough one. But I think Liam can pull it off.”
Brook’s thoughts will echo those of many fans struggling to call this one. Both men are of a similar age, and have fallen short with steps up in the past. Now, with world titles on their minds, this fight is make or break.
One-time rival of Brook, Amir Khan, agrees with a Smith pick. The former unified world champion chose ‘Beefy’ over Eubank due to his experiences in the gym with the Liverpool man.
“I’ve done some training with Liam Smith, always a hard worker, trains very hard. He was my training partner when I was fighting Canelo. He’s a tough fighter, especially when he puts that attack on you, he’s got great pressure, throws some great shots and hits quite hard.
I’ve got Liam winning that fight. Even though a lot of people are going to favour the younger fighter in Chris Eubank Jr, I just feel experience in this case will take hold.”
The predictions perhaps shows the 50/50 nature of the fight, with many fans instead opting for Eubank to take it. For what it’s worth, the bookie’s early odds have him as the favourite and Smith as a slight underdog.