Chris Eubank Jr v Liam Smith: British middleweights to fight in Manchester in January

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Chris Eubank Jr (right) has not lost a fight since being beaten by George Groves in 2018
Chris Eubank Jr will fight Liam Smith in an all-British middleweight contest at Manchester Arena on 21 January.

Eubank Jr had been set to fight Conor Benn last month, but that bout was cancelled after Benn tested positive for a banned substance.

Liverpool’s Smith, a former world champion at light-middleweight, says Eubank Jr is “making a big mistake”.

“Every time he has stepped up to elite level, he has failed. I know I am on that level,” said the 34-year-old.

“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.”

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Both men are on impressive win streaks, with Eubank Jr on a six-fight unbeaten run and Smith undefeated in three bouts after stopping Anthony Fowler, Jessie Vargas and Hassan Mwakinyo.

Eubank Jr, whose last defeat was inflicted by then world champion George Groves at super-middleweight in 2018, insists Smith is not on his level.

“Has he been in there with some good fighters? Yes. Are they on my level? No,” said the 33-year-old.

“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.”

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