Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Smith Odds, Pick & Prediction: Boxing Betting Preview (Saturday, January 21)

Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Smith Odds, Pick & Prediction: Boxing Betting Preview (Saturday, January 21) article feature image

Stu Forster/Getty Images. Pictured: Middleweight boxer Chris Eubank Jr.

  • In one of the first major boxing fights of 2023, Chris Eubank Jr. takes on Liam Smith in England on Saturday afternoon.
  • Eubank is a solid favorite heading into a middleweight fight that's had a lot of contentious buildup.
  • Below, Bryan Fonseca shares his favorite plus-money bet for the DAZN headliner.

Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Smith Odds

Eubank Jr. odds
Smith odds
10.5 (-330 / -235)
Manchester Arena in Manchester, England
Approx. 5 p.m. ET
Odds as of Saturday and via FanDuel.

One of the highest-profile European-based bouts of the first quarter takes place on Saturday afternoon at Manchester Arena in England with Chris Eubank Jr. vs. Liam Smith.

The polarizing yet entertaining Eubank Jr. (32-2, 23 KOs) will face the skilled and rugged Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) in a grudge match heightened by a 20-minute face-to-face on Gloves Off this week.

(Watch it. Trust me.)

(I won’t not recommend the controversial press conference from Thursday, but you can Google that.)

Anyway, Eubank is a former two-time WBA interim and IBO world champion at super middleweight (168 pounds) and middleweight (160), respectively. Because the IBO isn’t recognized as one of boxing’s four major organizations (WBC, WBO, WBA and IBF), plenty wouldn’t refer to Eubank as a former world champion, but that’s subjective.

Ultimately, he’s won six straight going back to a unanimous decision loss to George Groves five years ago.

Smith, meanwhile, is a former WBO junior middleweight champion (154 pounds) whose once-undefeated record was spoiled by a Canelo Alvarez body shot at AT&T Stadium in September 2016. Smith hasn’t held a full world title since. However, he won an interim strap in 2017, though he subsequently lost the bout for the outright title (to Jaime Munguia by decision in July 2018, his most recent defeat).

Eubank, 33, and Smith, 34, are likely to experience massive implications in this middleweight grudge match. Smith is a top-five ranked junior middleweight, according to the big four sanctioning bodies referenced earlier. Eubank is top five in three of the four and is No. 2 in the WBO and WBC rankings, respectively. A win would nearly guarantee a world title bout in the near future while a loss would put either at a career crossroads while entering their mid-30s.

Expect to see desperation.

Fight Analysis 

Eubank has been working with Roy Jones Jr. over the last few years and will do so again for this fight. With Jones, he’s fought very much like him – unconventional lead right hands, not a ton of jabs, setting up counter right uppercuts – with success. No, he’s not Roy – the second-best athlete of the 1990s – but he’s damn good.

Smith is more technical and has picked apart credible 154-pounders in recent years. But he heads into this matchup as the naturally lighter man, with Eubank carrying strength, speed and length advantages. Eubank has fought his entire career between middleweight and super middleweight. He’s 5-foot-11 with a 72.5-inch reach compared to Smith, who is maybe 5-foot-10 with a 69-inch reach.

No love lost between these two 🔥

Tune-in now 👉

— DAZN Boxing (@DAZNBoxing) January 19, 2023

Smith has also fought predominately at junior middleweight, though he’s had occasional forays into the 160-pound chamber, most recently against Hassan Mwakinyo, whom he stopped in September.

Smith also highlighted Eubank’s chin, which has helped prevent him from ever being knocked out as a pro. Smith claims Eubank is susceptible to body shots, so expect Smith to be active in that department on Saturday. Smith is the only fighter of the two to have been knocked out, which was the aforementioned bout with Alvarez. Smith was dropped in Rounds 7 and 8, and eventually stopped by a body shot in the ninth.

Eubank, who is 6-0 with three KOs since February 2018, most recently outclassed Liam Williams in Williams’ hometown of Cardiff, Wales, knocking him down four times en route to a comfortable unanimous decision. Eubank could’ve gone for the kill but insisted he wanted to punish his foe instead of letting him off easy.

Smith is 3-0 with three KOs since his last loss – against Russian super welterweight contender Magomed Kurbanov in May 2021, a unanimous decision.

Eubank Jr. vs. Smith Pick (and Other Bets to Consider)

Eubank has been the favorite since the fight was announced, and rightfully so. However, it’s not as one-sided as other boxing lines we’ve recently discussed.

The odds could vary a touch depending on where you look and what state you’re in. But ultimately, you’ll find Eubank as a moneyline favorite in the -200s, while Smith enters as an underdog in the high +100s to low and mid +200s. Example: Eubank is -250 on BetMGM while Smith is +220.

I’m very comfortable with picking Eubank on the moneyline because I don’t see Smith getting the upset unless Eubank gets overly careless. The odds are close for a reason, but I’d be fairly stunned if Smith wins this against a Eubank on his game, especially at middleweight.

That said, I don’t see Eubank winning by knockout. Smith is extremely tough, and though he’s older – additionally, the +400 juice for Eubank by KO might be worth a sprinkle – I just don’t see it. Smith is crafty enough to survive and give Eubank occasional fits. If Eubank gets the stoppage, I’d lean toward it happening late in the fight, say, Rounds 9-12.

But my pick is Eubank by decision, which should still be around +110 by fight time on your book of choice.

I’d also recommend adding Eubank on the moneyline to a parlay this weekend. Americans: You can pair it with NFL games/props during divisional weekend. Our U.K. friends, you don’t need me to tell you that this could be paired with a bet from the British welterweight title clash of Ekow Essuman vs. Chris Kongo, the co-feature on the card, and some Premier League fixtures. I’ve already got my Liverpool-Chelsea and Arsenal-Man United bets lineup for the weekend.

Enjoy the fights, and don’t go broke!

The Pick: Chris Eubank Jr. by Decision (+115)

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