The Opening Round: Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr II
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Repeat or revenge? That’s the question on everyone’s mind ahead of the hotly-anticipated rematch between Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The first meeting of this pair at the same venue in January was a barnburner, with former WBO light-middleweight champion Smith stopping Eubank Jr in devastating fashion in the fourth round.
Defeat in this bout delivered a hammer blow to Eubank Jr’s aspirations of a world title shot, with a rematch clause exercised to see the 33-year-old get a chance to seek revenge against his Liverpudlian nemesis Smith.
This all-British middleweight rivalry has certainly caught fire, with the needle between the two fighters there for all to see in the build-up to Saturday’s stacked BOXXER card which they will headline in Manchester.
There is a lot on the line on Saturday night for slight betting favourite Smith (8/13), and narrow underdog Eubank Jr (13/10), with both boxers seeking a win to put themselves in contention for a world title shot and other lucrative fights against domestic rivals such as Conor Benn and Kell Brook.
Read our full Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr Fight Preview article HERE.
Ben Shalom, founder and CEO of BOXXER, is expecting a pulsating encounter in the main event of Saturday night’s stacked card of boxing at the AO Arena.
“I think what we are going to see is the fight we all expected the first time.
“I believe we’ll see a well prepared, well conditioned Eubank Jr, which should see this fight go longer and turn into a proper battle,” Shalom said.
Watch the full exclusive interview with Ben Shalom HERE.
bet365’s resident Boxing expert Rob Tebbutt is anticipating a similar outcome as the first fight when Smith and Eubank Jr meet inside the ring again at the AO Arena.
“For me, the value bet is a repeat of what happened last time, with Liam Smith to win by TKO, which you can back at odds of 5/2,” he said.
bet365’s Boxing Compiler and trader Ian Vickers, on the other hand, believes the betting value lies with Eubank Jr ahead of Saturday’s rematch.
“From the get-go with this fight I feel the value has to be with Eubank Jr with the prices, I think he’ll keep his distance and composure to nick it on the cards,” he said.
Saturday night’s BOXXER card will also see the return to action of exciting British super-lightweight prospect Adam Azim, who will take on Ukrainian Aram Faniian over 10 rounds.
Rob Tebbutt expects the highly-rated Azim to win in style in Manchester.
“I expect Azim to return to the knockout trail now that he has recovered from a hand injury that forced him out of the ring for the longest time in his professional career so far.
“I’m looking at Azim to win by stoppage (KO/TKO) at odds of 4/7,” he said.
An intriguing all-British heavyweight showdown also features on the undercard, with Frazer Clarke aiming to maintain his undefeated professional record against a game opponent in Dave Allen.
Old crowd favourite Allen hasn’t fought at this level since losing to David Price in 2019, and will have his work cut out to contend with an ever-improving Clarke.
Rob Tebbutt is confident ‘Big Fraze’ will come out on top at the AO Arena, but that Allen will be no walkover.
“I think Clarke will win in good fashion, but I do like the look of the price for the fight to go Over 6.5 Rounds at 5/6,” he said.
Watch our Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr 2 full card Tips & Predictions video HERE.
bet365 are also offering Bet Boosts across all of Saturday night’s BOXXER action, including a 10/1 shot on Chris Eubank Jr to win by stoppage in Over 6.5 Rounds in the headline bout against Liam Smith.
Bet Boosts and odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.
By James Wilson