For all the spite and venom Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith have dished out to each other in the build-up to Saturday night’s clash on Sky Sports Box Office, both fighters performed their public workouts with smiles on their faces.
Eubank Jr sprang easily across the ring set up in Manchester’s Trafford Centre on Wednesday evening, throwing out light punches as he shadowboxed, at times half-dancing as he bounded from foot to foot along with the blaring music.
For the crowd that had assembled to watch him, he went through his paces, working the pads with his trainer, boxing legend Roy Jones.
The Brighton man’s confidence was unmistakeable.
“Fight week is actually fun. All the hard work is done. It’s actually a great feeling,” he told Sky Sports. “Now this is the easy part. We relax, we cut the weight.”
The confidence, he insists, will carry on into the fight.
“My predictions never change. I think this is going to be an awesome fight while it lasts, but my prediction is that I go in there and stop this guy,” Eubank said.
“You’ve got to win, that is first and foremost. If you can win and look sexy while you’re doing, then do that.”
Smith might come across as a fiery character but he was just as composed as his opponent.
He gave nothing away in regards to his boxing, shadowboxing easily as he manoeuvred round the ring. But he did show off his footballing talents.
Jamie Carragher joined him in the ring and the two headed a football between them without it touching the ground for an impressive amount of time until with a final flourish Smith booted the ball into Sky Sports‘ own Andy Scott. The boxing reporter took the shot to the body well.
Smith fully expects to beat Eubank on Saturday, and doesn’t consider himself an underdog in this fight with Eubank Jr.
“Energy levels throughout camp have been a bit different. I haven’t had that little demon saying I have to get to 154lbs,” Smith said.
“[Me winning] would be an upset for the people who think I can’t do middleweight. Upset and surprised by it will be the people who thought I couldn’t step up to 160lbs.”
He has no doubts that he can.
Smith dismissed Eubank’s mind games ahead of the fight. “I’ve fought Mexicans in Mexico, Canelo in Texas, Russians in Russia, and he thinks a billboard’s going to make a difference to my training camp or my sleep at night,” he said.
“Even the DMs he put out, he’s trying to get under my skin. I don’t know what for. To make me stand like a sitting duck in front of him? We’ll see,” Smith added with a final hint of menace.
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