Eubank Jr. is back working with boxing legend Roy Jones Jr.
As 2023 opens, Chris Eubank finds himself in the biggest UK fight of the year so far when he takes on Liverpool’s Liam Smith.
They meet in Manchester on Saturday, January 21, and while Eubank had been due to meet Conor Benn in October 2022, the fight came apart following Benn’s positive PED tests. But Eubank still views 2022 as a success story in his career.
“I won my fight [against Liam Williams in February],” Eubank explained. “I believe I won a few extra fans, even though I didn’t fight Conor Benn. I think I won more fans than I would have won if I had fought him, so in that way it’s a success. But I was very disappointed I only fought once. That’s unacceptable at my age , to be doing that. But we tried everything we could. I tried to make this fight with Liam happen in December but couldn’t and hopefully I will fight two more times in 2023. Big fights, big names, world titles. That’s what we want.”
Smith is an excellent fighter and the result is not a foregone conclusion. Unlike the Benn fight, there is no real grudge, no real storyline to the contest but it’s good enough to not need one.
“I definitely think the fight sells itself,” continued Eubank. “There’s a story in the sense we’ve sparred before, but I guess the main story is we’re both at the top of our games at the same time and it’s a fight the boxing fans want to see. Sometimes, you can’t have a crazy story to line up a fight, sometimes the fight just sells itself… two guys with skills who people want to see fight, and that’s what this is. When you guys see the face to face and all that stuff, we definitely spiced things up a little bit.”
As Eubank said, there was this sparring. Recollections of both fighters are different, in fact, Eubank doesn’t even remember it, but it’s an angle.
“It was I don’t know how many years ago it was, I have no recollection of it,” Eubank added. “He told me in the face off he nearly buckled me with a body shot. I don’t know if he’s saying that because he knows I don’t remember it, but he swears by it and says I’m vulnerable to the body, so I told him I’m going to have to do some extra sit ups for this camp.”
Eubank said that with a wry smile, hinting at sarcasm. But Smith’s camp believe Eubank is taking them seriously, hence why Eubank is back working with Roy Jones.
Jones had not been part of the camp ahead of the Benn bout, but he was back with Eubank for a week before Christmas and they joined up again after the festive period.
“I always said I was going to have Roy around for the rest of my career,” Eubank insisted. “After the time we spent together during Covid on his farm, I just knew he was my guy. I just couldn’t have him in the corner for the Benn fight for personal reasons, I wanted my dad involved… the whole story was Eubank-Benn, there wasn’t space for a big name like Roy in there, but any other fight he’s with me. I know Liam says if it’s going to be so easy, why are you getting Roy back? You could put a dustman in front of me, I’m still going to have Roy in my corner. That’s just what I want. He’s a great coach, he’s a great human being and I’m comfortable around him. I like him advising, mentoring and just being around me during a fight camp.”
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith at Manchester’s AO Arena on Jan 21, is live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office – tickets are on sale now.