Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - It's on!
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith – It’s on!

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith is officially on! Get ready for the ultimate New Year’s bash as two of Britain’s best boxers collide on Saturday, January 21st at the AO Arena in Manchester.

In a blockbuster start to 2023, the middleweight rivals go head-to-head in an eagerly anticipated bout live and exclusively in the UK and Republic of Ireland on Sky Sports Box Office.

Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) heads into this mouth-watering pay-per-view clash in the form of his life following wins over Jesse Vargas, Anthony Fowler and Roberto Garcia.

And after his winning BOXXER debut in September, Smith immediately set his sights on Eubank Jr as he plots his path to becoming a world champion for a second time.

Smith, 34, memorably went toe-to-toe with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in 2016 and comes from a proud, illustrious bloodline of champions including brothers Paul Smith Jr, Stephen Smith and Callum Smith.

Eubank Jr (32-2-0, 23 KOs) is a man whose family name needs no introduction at all. Son of legendary former world champion Chris Eubank, the 33-year-old has successfully carved out his own reputation in the sport.

But in Smith, Eubank Jr faces one the toughest tests of his stellar career. The Brighton-based fighter was a former IBO world title holder and is entering his prime, intent on starting the new year in style.

Eager to step back inside the ropes after his proposed October bout with Conor Benn was postponed, Eubank Jr last fought in February when he comfortably outclassed Liam Williams in Cardiff with an impressive unanimous decision points victory.

Chris Eubank Jr said: “Has he been in there with some good fighters? Yes. Are they on my level? No. He’s a competent fighter, but class beats competence every day of the week. It’s a good opportunity for me to show I’m twice the fighter that he is as well as those he has faced.

“Manchester is an iconic sporting city. It has hosted many legendary fight nights and many memorable fighters have been born there. It’ll be a great performance, and the Eubank name will hopefully become a regular feature whenever the boxing history of Manchester is discussed.”

Liam Smith said: “He’s making a big mistake fighting me. Every time he has stepped up to elite level, he has failed. I am elite and he will fall again on January 21st in Manchester.

“If he was at 60% for the fight that never was against Conor Benn, then he’ll need to be at 160% to be ready to face me, a former world champion, in front of thousands of my fans in the North-West.

“For Chris this is a high-risk, low-reward. For me, it’s the perfect platform to show I will rule the world again in 2023. He needs to be prepared for the toughest night of his career.”

Wasserman’s Head of Global Boxing, Kalle Sauerland, said: “Eubank vs Smith is a fight that has been talked about for a very long time. It’s an absolute banger of a boxing bonanza to kick off a huge year for the undisputed superstar of the middleweights Chris Eubank Jr, in a year in which we expect him to take over the division.

“The journey begins in the amazing fight city of Manchester which has been host to so many historic British blockbusters, on January 21 live on Sky Box Office we will witness the next one.”

BOXXER CEO & Founder, Ben Shalom said: “What a way to start the new year. This is the fight that British boxing fans have been calling for.

“There aren’t many bigger names in the sport than Chris Eubank Jr, who many believe is coming into his prime now. This is his biggest fight in recent memory against a truly world class fighter Liam Smith. Liam is proven at world level and in the form of his life. Many will feel that he is the favourite going into this.

“It will be a huge occasion for British boxing and we’re delighted to bring this mouthwatering event to the fans in the iconic fight city of Manchester.”

Fight fans can pre-register for tickets today, with the pre-sale date of Tuesday, November 29th. Tickets will be available on general sale on Thursday, December 1st.

Sky Sports Box Office will exclusively screen the bout in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Pricing details, as set by Sky, will be released in due course along with further announcements on the full, exciting undercard for what promises to be a momentous occasion to kickstart 2023.