This weekend sees the second part of a truly intense grudge match – of course, we're talking about round two of Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith, live from Manchester, UK on Saturday night. Here, we are making our prediction for the second part of this grudge match, as well as making our prediction for a fight that should more than live up to Act One.
What Happened Last Time?
In case you happened to be living under a rock, or were simply unaware of what was going on, in January of this year, Chris Eubank Jr, son of the legendary Chris Eubank Sr (one of the greatest middleweight fighters in recent history), took on Liverpool's Liam “Beefy” Smith in a long-awaited domestic grudge match. Eubank (being Eubank), came into this fight extremely confident, claiming that he only needed to be “at fifty percent” to easily dispatch of Smith, as well as making claims of snacking on KFC prior to the fight. Smith, as it would turn out, would make the prophetic prediction that Eubank's ego would come back to haunt him…
And it did. Despite actually outboxing Smith for the first three rounds, Eubank's ego led him head on into a firefight of a brawl with a brawler, and inevitably got blasted on the jaw and knocked into the shadow realm. Cue one massive, massive upset, and instead of eating KFC, Chris Eubank Jr found himself snacking on a whole heap of humble pie.
Chris Eubank Jr – Path to Victory: Stick to Boxing
Eubank's path to victory in this fight is relatively easy to navigate – he is by far the superior boxer in this fight.
As I already mentioned, Eubank was actually boxing very, very well in the first fight, and prior to trusting his ego and getting into a brawl with a very good brawler. If Chris Eubank Jr could actually shelve his ego for this fight, then he could box circles around Liam Smith. His jab is very sharp, and he is more than capable of walking Smith onto combinations and big shots; that is not a hard prediction to make at all.
However, my concern for Eubank is twofold. One, I am curious if Eubank will be much more cautious in this fight. He knows that Smith can knock him out, and he will NOT want to repeat that. Two, will Eubank give in to his ego again? Will he try and get into another stupid firefight to try and prove something? If he does, then I am confident in offering you the prediction that history will repeat itself.
Liam Smith – Path to Victory: Brawl, Brawl, Brawl
Liam Smith will win this fight if he can make it the same as the last fight – poke Chris Eubank's ego, and make it a dirty street fight.
Unlike Eubank, Liam Smith is humble enough to know that he is not the superior boxer in this fight. That allows Smith to gameplan very effectively for this fight, just like he did last time. And just like last time, Smith will be fully aware that if he can make this into a rough-and-tumble fist fight, then he can detonate that left hand again and put Chris Eubank Jr into a world of trouble.
Official Prediction: Eubank Jr to Gain Revenge
This might not be the smartest prediction to make, but I am making the prediction that Chris Eubank Jr will win this fight, because he simply has to.
If Chris Eubank Jr loses this fight, then he is very likely finished as a meaningful title contender in pretty much any division. This is likely his last chance saloon, and he has to grab it with both hands. However, and like I said, I still believe that Eubank Jr is a better boxer than Liam Smith, and I do believe that many people have overlooked that part. I think that if Chris Eubank Jr can actually fight a smart, high IQ and even conservative fight, then I think the fight flips in his favour.
What Chris Eubank Jr ideally wants is for Liam Smith to chase after him, because Eubank can counter-punch very, very well. Furthermore, Eubank Jr is also very good at eating through rounds whilst doing enough to build up a lead on the scorecards. I predict that this is going to be the Eubank approach. If he has any sanity at all, he will absorb Liam Smith's pressure for the first few rounds, and then just start to sting him with that lead jab, and basically follow up behind it all night.
Like I said, this might not be the smartest prediction, but this is the time for Chris Eubank Jr to show the world how good of a boxer he actually is – he could well be finished if he doesn't.
Official Prediction: Chris Eubank Jr to win via unanimous decision.