Avila Perspective, Chap. 250: Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr II in Manchester


By David A. Avila

England loves boxing.

A rematch between contender Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr. pits two families enriched in boxing tradition against each other.

It’s a family feud.

The silver-haired Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs) looks to repeat a blistering performance against Eubank (32-3, 23 KOs) on Saturday, Sept. 2, at AO Arena in Manchester, England. ESPN+ will stream the Boxxer Promotions and Top Rank Promotions card in the USA.

Last January, the two rivals met in the same arena with Smith catching Eubank in the fourth round before unloading on the son of former middleweight and super middleweight champion Chris Eubank. The fight was stopped with Eubank unable to realize he could not defend himself.

“If he makes the same mistakes, I’ll punish him for them,” said Smith at the press conference.

Most boxing fans are unaware that prizefighting began formally in the United Kingdom in the 1600s and continues to thrive. Now the entire world has pro boxers.

In countries like England, Mexico, Russia, Ireland, Japan, Cuba and others the sport of boxing has been entrenched for many generations.

Liam Smith’s family is one of those dripping in boxing blood. He’s one of four Smith brothers involved in professional boxing. Both he and his younger brother Callum Smith are former world titlists and both battled Saul “Canelo” Alvarez.

Liam may be the toughest of them all.

When Liam Smith fought Canelo it was back in 2016 at super welterweight, he was stopped for the first and only time with a body shot. It remains his only vulnerability but good luck trying to target that area. He battered Jessie Vargas at Madison Square Garden a year ago when Vargas tried.

Eubank, 33, is the son of former middleweight and super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank who fought Nigel Benn and many others during the 1990s. Like his father, he possesses firepower. He formerly held the IBO super middleweight title but will be dropping down again to fight Smith at 160 pounds.

Is the weight drop too much for Eubank?

“It is a new pressure that I have never had to deal with before. But I’m enjoying it,” said Eubank.

During the weigh-in, Smith chided Eubank, apparently playing mind games with his former victim. Will it hurt or help Smith in repeating the knockout victory.

Mikaela Mayer

Former super featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer (18-1, 5 KOs) jumps up to welterweight to fight Italy’s Silvia Bortot (11-2-1, 3 KOs) in a 10-round bout on the undercard of Smith versus Eubank.

Mayer weighed 141 pounds and Bortot 139 for this match that will be shown on ESPN+