Liam Smith has listed the three qualities that he believes defines Chris Eubank Jr ahead of their domestic dust up this month.
The pair face off in Manchester on January 21 as they both make what’s likely to be a final push for a world title before hanging up the gloves.
Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) racked up two wins last year – beating both Jessie Vargas and Hassan Mwakinyo at super-welterweight before agreeing to move up to the middleweight limit of 160lb for this fight.
Eubank Jr (32-2) was set for a stellar 2022, a routine victory over Liam Williams in Cardiff set up a family feud bout with Conor Benn in October. The catchweight clash was sensationally pulled at the last minute when news broke that Benn had tested positive for a banned substance.
Despite now being out of the ring for almost a year, Eubank came out of the Benn saga with an army of new fans who appreciated his self-belief and love of a wind up.
To build the fight, Sky Sports asked each fighter to describe his opponent in three words. Smith, it seems, doesn’t enjoy it as much as some.
“Arrogant. Athletic. Smug.”
For Eubank’s part, he only managed two words to describe his opponent – capable and boring.
Despite all of the bluster in the build up, the ‘athletic’ and ‘capable’ compliments point to both men knowing that they’re in for a fight come January 21.
That’s the only concessions they’re making though, with confidence seemingly high in both camps. Smith has said that Eubank Jr isn’t in the top two opponents he’s faced in terms of ability – that privilege being given to Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Jaime Munguia.
In the other corner, Eubank continues to give off an air of superiority by claiming he only has to perform at 50% to beat the Liverpool man – a mind game he started back when he was meant to be facing Conor Benn, although the number then was 60%.
The pair headline a stacked undercard in Sky Sports and Boxxer’s first box office offering of the year.