Boxing’s 2023 calendar continues its promising start, as BOXXER and Wasserman Boxing officially announced a long-expected middleweight fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith for January 21st in Manchester.
The fight was previously rumored for December 17th, but that seemed like a tight deadline. Instead, the pair will meet at middleweight a few weeks later.
Eubank (32-2-3, 23 KO) hasn’t done much of note in the ring since his decision win over James DeGale almost four years ago. He was scheduled to face Conor Benn back in October, but that fell apart on fight week when Benn failed a drug test. To say Eubank hasn’t challenged himself much recently is putting it diplomatically, and the lower level opponents he has agreed to face have frequently fallen through.
Smith (32-3-1, 19 KO) is a tougher test than Eubank has faced in years. A former WBO champion at 154 pounds, he came in a little over 159 pounds for his most recent fight, a September knockout win against Hassan Mwakinyo. Smith came out of that one targeting Eubank, and now he’s officially got him.
Eubank and Smith have fought at Manchester Arena a combined ten times, so there should be a robust and passionate crowd on hand. And if you’re watching on television? It’ll be SkySports in the United Kingdom, and no official announcement for the United States or other territories.