Chris Eubank Jr declares that he needs no more than eight rounds of sparring in his training sessions for Liam Smith, while his opponent insists: "Every time he's fought someone who's well-schooled, he's lost"; Eubank vs Smith will be live on Sky Sports Box Office on January 21
Tuesday 13 December 2022 06:14, UK
Good fundamental boxing skills will beat Chris Eubank Jr, warns Liam Smith.
The British rivals will clash on January 21 at the AO Arena in Manchester, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Ahead of their new year showdown, Smith has insisted that boxing IQ will prove key to the contest.
"When everything comes down to it, he's fit, he's durable, he's athletic, he's a good athlete but he always lacks and he always falls short in the boxing department when he needs to use his brain. I think this will be no different for me," Smith told Sky Sports News.
"The proof's in the pudding. Every time he's fought someone with better fundamentals than him, he's lost. He tries to say that's a myth but it's not. It's there, it's right in front of you. Every time he's fought someone who's well-schooled and a good amateur, he's lost.
"Let's not beat around the bush, Chris Eubank is not a very good, clever, talented fighter. He's fit, he's got a good chin like his dad, he's a fit athlete, he's durable in that sense and that's why he can compete at a high level. But he can't compete at a high-level boxing ability-wise and that's why he falls short at the top all the time."
Eubank was due to address Smith directly in a live head-to-head interview today but a delay saw him miss his slot. Nevertheless, he still hit back.
"I don't make anything of what my opponents say because I've heard it all," Eubank said.
"I've heard all this talk a million times:
"'I'm going to knock you out.'
"'You can't box.'
"'You can't jab.'
"'You're not skilled enough.'
"All these guys say all the same things leading up to these big fights and then when it actually comes down to the crunch time, when that bell goes, all the words flutter away and they just end up getting dominated by the better fighter in me.
"I've seen it time and time again and it's going to be no different on January 21 against Liam Smith.
"On January 21, Sky Sports Box Office, Liam Smith is going to get a serious lesson."
Smith is bringing sparring into his training camp today. "We've done all the groundwork, all the fitness work in the last couple of weeks and we've just started sparring today. Now's the time we'll knock the rounds up and start bringing the gameplan into place," Smith said.
Although their fight is scheduled for the full 12 rounds, Eubank however, declared today that he would only be doing eight-round spars in his camp.
"I'm going to be sparring eight rounds today, and sparring another eight rounds another two times over the next week and every week until the fight comes. So everything's on track," Eubank said.
"I don't think it's going to be too much of a challenge for me so I don't think I need to spar any more than eight rounds. That's probably how long the fight is going to last. Guys that are a little bit more dangerous than Liam I'd probably be sparring 12 rounds but I think eight's more than enough for Liam Smith.
"I'm not being disrespectful, I'm just very confident."
So confident is he, Eubank won't even skip Christmas in his preparation. "Absolutely not," he said.
"I'm going to have the Christmas dinner, the turkey, the stuffing, even the little sausages with the bacon wrapped around it, I'm having all of it.
"I'm going to have a little party on New Year's, we're not sacrificing too much for this guy."
Smith won't be indulging over Christmas. "I won't have Christmas dinner but it's not a big deal for me. I'll have Christmas dinner once I beat Chris," he said.
He does not, however, take Eubank's claims overly seriously. "I'll get a 100 per cent Chris Eubank Jr which is why he's brought Roy Jones Jr over to train him," Smith said. "He's paying money out of his purse to bring a legend, Roy Jones over to the UK to coach him.
"Why have you put a rematch clause in with me and you didn't put it in with Conor Benn? If I'm an easier fight than Conor Benn, it doesn't make sense.
"They know a loss is not out of the question, so that's why they put a rematch clause in if I win, there's no rematch clause if Chris wins. There's only a rematch clause if I win."
Eubank responded: "Take the rematch clause out if it makes you happy.
"A rematch clause means absolutely nothing," he continued. "That's what promoters do, they make sure they cover all bases.
"Roy is a legend and he is a genius in the boxing game inside and outside of the ring. I've always said for the rest of my career I'm going to have him in my corner. Regardless of who I'm fighting, I want Roy around. He's great energy, he's a great person and he's a great human being and he is a special coach.
"I went many years through my career without having any coach. I was self-trained and I finally came to the realisation that once you get to a certain level it's always good to have somebody you can trust and somebody you can count on when the going gets tough and the going is going to get tough at the highest level. And that man is Roy for me."
Eubank gave no hint that he was contemplating defeat. "I just feel like the energy, the passion, the fire that's inside of me is just going to be too much for him," he said.
Smith was just as confident. "I've been stopped once my career and that's off Canelo Alvarez and as I've said before Chris Eubank Jr is no Canelo Alvarez. So it's got all the ingredients to be a 12 round war. But we'll see how it pans out, boxing doesn't always go that way so we'll see," Smith said.
"There's no hate or malice involved I just don't like him as a person. He's just not my cup of tea," the Liverpudlian continued. "Any man sitting across a table from me telling me he's going to beat me at 50% is laughable.
"I don't like the Chris Eubank Jr that he likes to show the public."
Eubank vs Smith will be live on Sky Sports Box Office on January 21