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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Will Freeman

Chris Eubank Jr next fight is already decided ahead of Liam Smith bout

Chris Eubank Jr tops the bill alongside Liam Smith this weekend, with their middleweight contest taking centre stage in Manchester on an exciting card.

Former WBO light-middleweight champion Smith has made the step up to middleweight to face Eubank, with the former two-time IBO super-middleweight champion hoping to return with a bang following the cancellation of his fight against Conor Benn.

Sparks flew at Thursday's press conference, with both fighters demonstrating a clear dislike of each other, this escalated into insults being traded and personal lives being discussed on stage. This prompted Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom to apologise for the scenes, taking attention away from what is a well matched fight.

ALSO READ: Jack Massey to provide Manchester fans with 'Rocky' style underdog story in Joseph Parker fight

Boxxer is a new face in the sport, aiming to compete with the might of Eddie Hearn's Matchroom and Frank Warren's Queensberry promotions. The event in Manchester this weekend is expected to highlight the progress made by the new name in the business on Sky Sports Box Office.

The card has quality throughout, with Richard Riakporhe vs Krysztof Glowacki and Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo also featuring on a card which sees former heavyweight world champion Joseph Parker taking on local former IBO cruiserweight world champion Jack Massey. Shalom has talked up the fight as expected this week and has acclaimed Smith as a better fighter than Eubank's last proposed opponent Benn.

Speaking to Boxxer, Shalom said: "Smith is a much better boxer than Conor Benn and is probably a much better boxer than Eubank Jr, he's a former world champion." He added. “Smith has done much more in his career than Eubank Jr, it's a tougher fight than Conor Benn."

With a growing stable of fighters working under the Boxxer umbrella, Shalom also named five fights that he wanted to make happen this year with a potential rematch against Billy Joe Saunders expected later this year for Eubank. Saunders beat Eubank in 2014 to win the British, Commonwealth, and European middleweight titles.

Shalom also spoke about the potential of a potential Jack Catterall vs Josh Taylor rematch, he revealed: "This year I want to make Taylor-Catterall 2, Billy Joe Saunders-Eubank 2, Shields-Marshall 2 and Okolie-Riakporhe."


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