The Manchester showdown between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith has now added a strong undercard to help bolster the main event.
Sky Sports announced the addition of three more fights on the card, starting out with Scotland’s cruiserweight prospect, Scott Forrest (3-0).
Despite being born in Johannesburg, Forrest is a proud Scotsman who has had the perfect start to his career with three knockouts in 2022. He will fight Amine Boucetta (7-5), who was knocked out by Artur Man in the fourth round of his last fight.
Next up is the return of fan favourite and Team GB captain, Frazer Clarke (4-0). The Olympic bronze medallist stepped up his opposition in the last fight, shutting out the well-respected Kamil Sokolowski with a 60-54 victory.
Although an opponent is yet to be announced, Clarke will be seeking a knockout victory as he continues to turn heads in the heavyweight division.
The final fight of this latest announcement could be the standout of the undercard, as Ekow Essuman (18-0) defends his British title against Chris Kongo (14-1).
This will be the 33-year-old’s fourth defence of the Lonsdale belt in just fifteen months and possibly his toughest test to date. Kongo was expected by many to have been challenging for the British title sooner in his campaign, until he suffered a shock defeat to Michael McKinson in Gibraltar in March 2021.
However, a career best win over former IBO champion Sebastian Formella has helped him get back on track and a British title would certainly silence any remaining doubters.
🚨 #EubankJrSmith phase 2 undercard announcement 🚨
🤝 @ScottForrest94 & Matty Harris
More fight news soon! 👀
— BOXXER (@boxxer) January 4, 2023
These bouts join two that were already announced, including former WBO heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker (30-3), who will be looking to bounce back from a knockout loss to Joe Joyce at the very same Manchester Arena.
The Kiwi fights Jack Massey (20-1) in a contest that has left some fans questioning the match making. The former British cruiserweight title challenger, Massey, is stepping up to heavyweight for the first time in his career.
The man who Massey lost to in his British title fight, Richard Riakporhe (15-0), will also be on the card. The undefeated 32-year-old will square off against former world champion, Krzysztof Glowacki, who fellow Brit Lawrence Okolie managed to stop in the sixth round back in 2021.
This represents a great chance for Riakporhe to prove his quality by bettering Okolie’s achievement as he pushes for a shot at world honours.
Finally, Chris Eubank Jr (32-2) will take to the ring to face former WBO light-middleweight champion, Liam Smith (32-3-1). Smith will be stepping up from 154lb to 160lb.
It makes for a mouth-watering contest, with a loss for either man perhaps putting an end to any hopes of securing a world title before retirement.
The fight will be available to watch on Sky Sports pay-per-view at a price of £19.95. The event is scheduled for January 21st at the AO Arena in Manchester and a rematch clause has been included in case of defeat for Eubank.