Chris Eubank Jr will step into the ring to face Liam Smith in Manchester tonight.
The middleweight clash will take place at the AO Arena on Saturday (21 January). It comes after Eubank Jr’s previous bout with Connor Benn was cancelled after the latter failed a drugs test.
The build-up to Eubank Jr vs Smith has been tarred by ugly scenes in the pre-match press conference. Smith made sly references as he questioned Eubank Jr’s sexuality.
Eubank Jr, who responded with unsubstantiated claims about Smith’s fidelity to his wife, pointedly wore a pro-LGBT armband at Friday’s weigh-in ahead of a much-anticipated bout at Manchester’s AO Arena. The slanging match has cast another unwanted shadow over the sport in this country, just a few months on from Conor Benn failing two drugs tests which nixed a catchweight fight against Eubank Jr.
While Benn insisted he is innocent and “the truth will soon come out”, public perception seems to have shifted in favour of Eubank Jr, so often a pantomime villain in the build-up to and during fights.
Here is all you need to know:
When is Eubank Jr vs Smith?
The two fighters will face each other in the ring on Saturday (21 January). The ring walk is expected at around 10pm, although the time could change depending on the lenght of the undercard fights.
Where is the Eubank Jr vs Smith fight?
The AO Arena in Manchester will play host to the middleweight bout. The address of the arena is Victoria Station Approach, Hunts Bank, Manchester M3 1AR.
The doors will open for the event at 5pm, with a series of undercard fights scheduled prior to the main bout. The ring walk for Eubank Jr vs Smith is scheduled for around 10pm, but the timings can change depending on the lenght of the undercard fights.
What is the purse for the fight?
Chris Eubank Jr will take home a guranteed £800,000 ($1m) and Liam Smith will walk away from a cool £404,000 ($500,000). Both of the fighters will split the pay per view revenue 60/40, Manchester Evening News reports.
It is expect that Eubank Jr will take home £2.4m in total, while Smith will earn an estimated £970,000.
What is Chris Eubank Jr’s net worth?
MEN reports that Eubank Jr is worth an estimated £5m, having earned around £3.7m so far from his boxing career. But that is about to receive a boost with his bout at the AO Arena.
What is Liam Smith’s net worth?
SportsLens reports that as of January 2023, Smith is worth an estimated £4m. It comes after fights against the likes of Saul 'Canelo' Álvarez.
How to watch Eubank Jr vs Smith
The coverage will be shown on Sky Sports Box Office and fans can purchase the fight for £19.95. Sky Sports customers will be able to stream the fight on their laptops and/or mobile devices through the Sky Sports Box Office app.
talkSPORT is also set to provide a running blog as well as radio coverage throughout the fight and coverage will be available through talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2.
Who is on the undercard?
- MAIN EVENT: Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith
- Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo
- Frazer Clarke vs Kevin Espindola
- Joseph Parker vs Jack Massey
- Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki
- Scott Forrest vs Amine Boucetta
- Matty Harris vs Jiri Surmaj
Why did Chris Eubank Jr wear a rainbow armband?
The build up to the fight at the AO Arena has been marred by homophobia, with Smith making ugly jibes and insinuations about Eubank Jr’s sexuality. Eubank Jr shared a clip on his Twitter page, captioning it: “It got personal today… it will get even more personal on Saturday #EubankSmith.”
The middleweight boxer arrived at the weigh-in a day before his fight at the AO Arena in Manchester wearing a rainbow armband on Friday (20 January). It came following a nasty exchange with Smith the prior day at the pre-fight press conference in which he questioned Eubank Jr’s sexuality.
He kept the accessory on throughout a frosty and protracted staredown with Smith which passed off without incident after the pair had both scaled 11st 5lbs – one pound below the middleweight cut-off. Eubank Jr wrote on Twitter afterwards: “We don’t discriminate… we don’t alienate. We want boxing & sport as a whole, to be all inclusive.”
Sky Sports apologised for “personal and homophobic remarks” at Thursday’s (19 January) final pre-fight press conference. The exchange was criticised on social media.