Eubank Jr vs Smith LIVE: Fight updates, result and reaction as Smith scores stunning KO

Chris Eubank Jr will look to put his doomed clash with Conor Benn behind him when the middleweight goes up against Liam Smith in a grudge match in Manchester tonight

Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 knockouts) was set for the biggest fight of his career in October, as the son of boxing icon Eubank Sr was scheduled to face the son of Nigel Benn in London. But adverse findings in Conor Benn’s drug-test results saw the main event aborted on short notice.

Now, Eubank Jr, 33, looks to move forward with a new headline bout, taking on 34-year-old Liverpudlian Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) - part of a boxing family himself - in something of a grudge match, with fight week being marred by controversy.

Smith made homophobic remarks and questioned Eubank Jr’s sexuality during Thursday’s press conference, with accusations of Smith cheating on his wife being thrown in the opposite direction, before Junior then wore a rainbow armband to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community for Friday’s weigh-in. The British Boxing Board of Control confirmed that they will “consider the conduct of both boxers directly,” while British LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall has urged the governing body to show they take anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric seriously.

Follow round-by-round updates from Eubank Jr vs Smith with our live blog below:

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - updates

  • Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith square off in a much-anticipated middleweight bout in Manchester

  • An ill-tempered fight week saw homophobic slurs thrown around and Eubank Jr wear a rainbow armband

  • Eubank Jr, 33, was supposed to fight Conor Benn in October until Benn’s positive drugs tests

  • Richard Riakporhe impressively stops Krzysztof Glowacki in the 4th to move to brink of a cruiserweight world title shot

  • Ekow Essuman beats Chris Kongo by majority decision to retain his British welterwight title

  • Joseph Parker bounces back from defeat to Joe Joyce with unanimous decision win over Jack Massey

  • Olympic medallist Frazer Clarke stops Kevin Espindola inside the distance

Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr

23:26 , Luke Baker

Here’s the aftermath to that unbelievable knockout

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Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr

23:24 , Luke Baker

Liam Smith has been discussing his victory.

“I don’t think it was one shot that finished him, it was an accumulation.

“I told you all week, don’t be surprised - they say he’s got a great chin but I’ve got a great chin.”

“I was getting used to him. He’s got very long arms and was good at using those and pulling away.

“When he was hurt, I knew I couldn’t let him off the hook. With his fitness and conditioning, he would recover quickly.

“Don’t be kidded that he can’t be hurt because he’s got a good chin. If you hit him in the right spot, he can be got.”

Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr

23:18 , Luke Baker

1min 9secs of Round 4 was when the stoppage came. Your winner by TKO, officially announced now is Liam Smith! What a performance

Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr - Round 4 KNOCKOUT

23:17 , Luke Baker

Just seeing the replay and it’s a huge left uppercut but Smith. Not sure how Eubank got back up from that in truth but he was gone from there.

He went down again, somehow got back up but the ref waved it off. Eubank still wanted some more but didn’t know where he was. Brutal but brilliant by Smith.

Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr - Round 4 KNOCKOUT

23:15 , Luke Baker

Eubank Jr was in control of that fight and had even started the 4th round well but got caught by a snap Smith shot, forced back into the corner and down he went.

It was all over from there. He got back up and went again but was wobbly and there was no way back.

A huge bruise has appeared under Junior’s eye. He looks annoyed at the stoppage but if the ref hadn’t stopped it, Roy Jones Jr in his corner was about to throw the towel in. WOW!

Liam Smith def. Chris Eubank Jr - Round 4 KNOCKOUT

23:13 , Luke Baker

It was carnage at the end! Eubank Jr thought he was still in the fight, it had been waved off but he was on autopilot and came forward for Smith again. It needed the corners to hold him back.

Amazing!

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - Round 4

23:11 , Luke Baker

Better work by Smith. AND HE FLOORS HIM!

Smith forces him back to the corner, lands a couple of shots and Eubank down.

He’s back up but wobbly. He continues but DOWN AGAIN! And now it’s stopped. Carnage as Eubank tries to continue but it’s over!

LIAM SMITH WINS!

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

23:10 , Luke Baker

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(Action Images via Reuters)

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - Round 3

23:09 , Luke Baker

Smith comes forward and tries to work on the inside but put back on his heels by a Eubank right.

Junior is jabbing and feinting, looking to set Smith up but he’s not biting. It does have him in control though and the odd shot pierces the guard. Eubank starting to control this and a decent uppercut lands.

Towards the end of the round, he lands two or three on the spin. This is Eubank’s round although Smith is taking his shots is ok so far.

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - Round 2

23:05 , Luke Baker

Smith probably slightly busier in the opener, a couple of showier shots maybe but not a lot in it.

A bit more purpose early in the 2nd from Eubank - more snap in the jab and he then evades a couple of Smith rights and uppercuts.

The crowd getting behind Smith with every swing, even the stuff that doesn’t land clean, which, frankly, is most of it.

Some Eubank feints to try and draw Smith in but no big error from either man so far. Smith gets a bodyshot in from close.

Nothing decisive in the opening six minutes.

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

23:02 , Luke Baker

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Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith - Round 1

23:01 , Luke Baker

Eubank Jr quite upright in his stance, Smith a bit lower. Both men in the orthodox stance.

Smith feinting with the front foot to try and draw the Eubank jab. An early couple of separations by the referee.

Good right by Smith - well timed as Eubank came in. Smith now marches Eubank towards the rope.

Eubank jab looking relatively sharp but Smith looking calm and composed, mixing his shots.

Smith now letting his right hand go and forces his foe back to the ropes but nothing really landing. Bringing that right over the top.

Intriguing first round

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:58 , Luke Baker

The bell’s about to ring! Let’s go with this grudge middleweight clash

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:57 , Luke Baker

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Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:56 , Luke Baker

Liam Smith out of the red corner and he gets an epic reception as he’s introduced. The undeniable crowd favourite.

Chris Eubank Jr out of the blue corner - almost universal boos. Haha! He’ll love the pantomime villain stuff.

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:54 , Luke Baker

Almost a slight smirk on Eubank Jr’s face. He doesn’t care whether he’s seen as hero or villain.

Stands on the ring apron, looks out to the crowd and nods silently. Then vaults over the top rope into the ring - trademark Eubank Jr.

Let’s get it on! This is going to be epic

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:52 , Luke Baker

Erm, yes - the crowd definitely more pro Smith... Lots of boos as Eubank Jr’s name is announced although they quieten down.

I Feel Good by James Brown as Junior walks backstage to the curtain. Eyes straight ahead, his team not really saying anything and he does some shadow boxing.

As he emerges from the curtain into the arena, there are audible boos again, although cheers as well. He looks unruffled anyway, to be honest.

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:49 , Luke Baker

This Place by Jamie Webster blares out as Smith comes through the curtain and then he completes his walk to the ring.

He looks pretty relaxed but the atmosphere is electric. The crowd seem on his side but let’s see the reaction to Junior...

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:47 , Luke Baker

Ringwalks underway in Manchester. Liam Smith first up. He starts his walk to Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim.

Has his entourage with him backstage. One of his team - possibly one of brothers - can be heard saying: “Time to get to work, baby. Take this f***ing c**t to school.”

It’s lovely stuff.

Will size make the difference?

22:44 , Luke Baker

A lot of talk in the build-up has been about the size disparity. Eubank Jr is a natural middleweight, whereas Smith is stepping up in weight from junior-middle.

Can Junior overpower his Liverpudlian foe? He has 23 knockouts from his 32 career wins, while Smith has 19 KOs from his 32 wins.

Jamie Carragher backing his city-mate Liam Smith

22:42 , Luke Baker

Football pundit and ex-England international Jamie Carragher is a member of Liam Smith’s entourage and has been int he ring with him this week.

Carragher gives his thoughts on his fellow Liverpudlian.

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All the stars in for Eubank Jr vs Smith

22:39 , Luke Baker

It’s a veritable who’s who of British sporting culture in the house tonight. England cricketer Jonny Bairstow has given his thoughts on the main event

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Chris Eubank Jr wears rainbow armband at weigh-in for Liam Smith fight

22:38 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr wore a rainbow armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community at the weigh-in for his grudge fight with Liam Smith.

The move follows homophobic comments made at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

Sky Sports were forced to apologise after Smith taunted his rival about his private life and asked him to come out on several occasions.

And in response Eubank Jr made his way to the stage wearing both a Manchester United shirt and the rainbow armband.

After removing the football shirt, Eubank Jr made a statement by keeping the armband on to both stand on the scales and then pose head to head with Smith.

Chris Eubank Jr wears rainbow armband at weigh-in for Liam Smith fight

'There’s going to be a stoppage’ - David Haye predicts Eubank Jr vs Smith

22:37 , Luke Baker

Former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion David Haye has given his prediction about tonight’s main event.

After a tight first few rounds, he’s confident there will be a stoppage.

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Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

22:36 , Luke Baker

Here we go! It’s been pretty ugly at times this week but Eubank Jr and Smith are ready to settle their differences in the ring

Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith during the weigh-in (PA)
Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith during the weigh-in (PA)

Richard Riakporhe def. Krzysztof Glowacki

22:33 , Luke Baker

Classy performance by Richard Riakporhe. Will be interesting to see who is next for the likeable Londoner. But now, it’s main event time.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
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Richard Riakporhe def. Krzysztof Glowacki

22:29 , Luke Baker

Richard Riakporhe making no bones about his next target - he wants a belt, and it may be a world title

“I’m feeling good, I’m happy to get the job done - we wanted a stoppage and we got it. I thought it would be the 3rd but it was the 4th.

“We’re on the train, next stop - all the champions! Trust me, we’re coming for you. I know about all of you lot, I think about you every day when I go to sleep and trust me, I’m coming for you.”

Richard Riakporhe def. Krzysztof Glowacki

22:25 , Luke Baker

2mins 44secs of Round 4 and the ref stopped it. Richard Riakporhe still unbeaten and moves to 16-0.

A world title fight is probably the next stop for ‘The Midnight Train’. Well deserved.

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Richard Riakporhe def Krzysztof Glowacki - Round 4 STOPPAGE

22:22 , Luke Baker

That sort of came out of nowhere. Riakporhe was in control, boxing a very good fight but Glowacki didn’t look in too much trouble bar that 2nd-round shot.

However he trapped him in the corner after wobbling with a great left-right combo.

Glowacki’s hands drop, he caught a couple more blows, couldn’t defend himself in the corner and the referee made the call. Glowacki didn’t love it but it was far from an egregiously early stoppage.

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki - Round 4

22:20 , Luke Baker

Riakporhe looking pretty disciplined here, picking his moments, probing away.

He over-reaches with one though and Glowacki eagerly throws a couple of shots just to let him know not to lean too far forward. Glowacki can do damage if he gets inside the jab.

Riakporhe goes to the body to try and slow the Pole and he follows that with some big shots to the head.

AND IT’S OVER! Riakporhe traps Glowacki in the corner, he’s defenceless for a moment and referee Howard Foster stops it!

Liam Smith looking calm

22:17 , Luke Baker

A quick word backstage with Liam Smith, who looks relaxed.

“I’m good, I’m feeling excited,” he says. “I’ll embrace it all, a lot of these fans will be here for me and I’m top of the bill tonight.”

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki - Round 3

22:16 , Luke Baker

Replays suggest that Glowacki’s glove may have just kissed the floor when he stumbled back from that Riakporhe shot... The Brit unlucky not to be credited with a knockdown? It was a close call anyway, so no complaints with referee Howard Foster not calling it/missing it.

A tamer 3rd round where Glowacki throws a couple of searching shots that Glowacki takes the sting out of. The Brit then comes forward with a decent right at the end of the round.

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki - Round 2

22:13 , Luke Baker

We’re still in the ‘feeling out’ stage of this fight. A couple of decent jabs from Riakporhe as he tries to pierce the guard.

Glowacki WOBBLED! He was cheating in with his front foot and got caught with a Riakporhe right that buckled his legs. He stumbled backwards slightly but half-blocked the follow-up.

Got his legs back under him after that but a good round for the Brit.

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki - Round 1

22:08 , Luke Baker

Glowacki is a southpaw, as are a couple of the world champions in this division. That’s no coincidence. Will be a good test for Riakporhe.

Cagey opening, Riakporhe maintaining his distance but occasionally coming in off the jab. Glowacki has responded with a couple of body shots when the Brit tries that.

Glowacki caught with a right as he stepped towards Riakporhe in the corner but not much between them in the opening stanza.

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki

22:06 , Luke Baker

If it comes down to who has the superior nickname, then Riakporhe is a shoo-in. ‘The Midnight Train’ is great stuff.

We’re underway.

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki

22:04 , Luke Baker

A lot of the fights on the undercard have gone long (what else is new...) so we’re pretty much straight on to the main support fight.

Richard Riakporhe and Krzysztof Glowacki have completed their ring walks and in the squared circle now.

Riakporhe is 15-0 but this is a step up in class for the Brit. Glowacki has some pedigree in the cruiserweight division - he’s a former world champion, having held the WBO belt, has a 32-3 record and the first of those defeats came to Oleksandr Usyk back in 2016.

More recently, the Pole has lost to Mairis Briedis and Lawrence Okolie, so he’s probably not the fighter he was but he knows his way around the ring...

Victory for Riakporhe could catapult him into the cruiserweight world title conversation though. Plenty on the line for the Londoner.

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith: A fight of family pride and a risk for both

22:02 , Luke Baker

The venerable Steve Bunce has given his thoughts on this evening’s main event.

”Smith and Eubank Jr have been in the same fighting circles for a long time, sparring on occasion, eyeing each other up, separated by a few pounds and inevitably pulled together when the sums made sense. It is a very good fight at any weight; Eubank Jr has none of the weight-draining obligations hanging high above his head that he had for last year’s cancelled fight with Conor Benn. It was called off after an irregular drug test surfaced and after a bad 24 hours for the sport, where it looked like the pound note and not common sense and decency would rule the day. Benn was brutally cast out.

“The fallout from that failure is still being felt, but Eubank Jr has insisted that it has not caused him to lose a moment of sleep. “It happened, the fight was off - I moved on and now I have to beat Liam,” said Eubank Jr. Meanwhile, Benn is still insisting that he is innocent of all drug charges and is hoping to totally clear his name in the coming weeks.

“Smith emerged as an opponent from that mess and that is how the year will start with a tremendous domestic fight. It is, make no mistake, a risk for both.”

Eubank Jr vs Smith is a fight of family pride and a risk for both

Fatherly support for Liam Smith

21:59 , Luke Baker

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Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki

21:58 , Luke Baker

Just one more fight before Eubank Jr and Smith get it on. Our main support bout is Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki at cruiserweight. Should be a good ‘un.

Ekow Essuman def Chris Kongo by majority decision (114-114, 116-113, 115-114)

21:57 , Luke Baker

Essuman came on really strong in that fight and that was ultimately the difference. No complaints about those cards, could have gone either way and the judges’ scores reflect how tight it was.

Essuman moves to 19-0 and is STILL British and Commonwealth welterweight champion but boy did he have to work hard for it.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo

21:52 , Luke Baker

First judge’s card is 114-114

Second judge is 116-113

Third judge 115-114

The majority decision goes to EKOW ESSUMAN! Tight, tight fight but the champ retains his belts!

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo

21:50 , Luke Baker

That was a fun fight and the cards should be pretty tight. Got a feeling that either man will feel hard done-by if they lose...

Good British title action, that

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Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 12

21:48 , Luke Baker

Big last 180 seconds of this fight. Both fighters will think the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles are still up for grabs if they win the 12th.

Essuman catches Kongo with a backhand over the top but it’s generally Essuman trying to come forward a bit more than the challenger.

HUGE RIGHT from Essuman. Kongo wobbled, his legs buckle but he holds on. Essuman charges forward, although a good counter-right landed by Kongo. Another good shot by Kongo.

And that’s it. The bell rings and the fighters tap gloves and embrace. Essuman’s round because of that big shot maybe?

No celebrations from either man - this genuinely could go either way. We await the cards

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 11

21:44 , Luke Baker

Good uppercut from Kongo off the ropes but Essuman lands a right hand that shudders through the challenger.

Kongo is spending more time on the ropes, which is never a good look in the judges’ eyes, even if your opponent isn’t landing a lot.

The champ tapping away to the body and he’s starting to dictate the pace again. Man, this could go either way.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 10

21:41 , Luke Baker

How will Kongo respond to that 9th-round barrage? A cagier start to the 10th but Kongo is looking tired, trying to hold.

Essuman coming forward more and on the front foot. Kongo stuck on the ropes again but Essuman can’t get his shots off properly.

There’s less snap in Kongo’s jab now. He tries to launch a right to end the round but to little avail.

This fight could go either way. Hard to tell how the judges will have scored it so far. Not sure anything from 6-4 Essuman to 7-3 Kongo would surprise me.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 9

21:37 , Luke Baker

Good left to the body from Kongo but a decent combination from Essuman precedes it.

Neither man has hurt the other yet, so this could come down to who has been controlling the fight.

But Essuman has Kongo in trouble now! Has him pinned on the ropes and he lands two or three big shots. A great right over the top visibly hurts the challenger and a left uppercut may have landed as well. Kongo was wobbled but managed to spin out of it.

Kongo holds on to the end of the round but that was Essuman’s round and he bounces back to his corner.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo

21:34 , Luke Baker

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(Getty Images)
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Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 8

21:32 , Luke Baker

This is turning into a clever fight plan from Essuman. Kongo was dictating with his jab early but Essuman has figured him out, is generally walking him down now and landing the odd shot inside.

Having said that, it’s a better 8th from Kongo who gets on the front foot off the jab again. That might have been Kongo’s round.

All to play for as we head towards the championship rounds in Manchester.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 7

21:29 , Luke Baker

Not much in it after 6 rounds - either three rounds each or maybe 4-2 to Kongo, depending how you scored the 1st. Essuman coming on strong in the last couple.

He stays on the front foot again and is landing the odd shot inside at close range. Kongo warned for shouldering off his opponent.

Kongo working hard to keep Essuman off and trade land a couple of rights at the end of the round

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 6

21:24 , Luke Baker

The referee Howard Foster stops proceedings to have a word with Kongo about holding. He has tried to tie the champ up on a couple of occasions.

Essuman definitely coming forward more now and trying to march Kongo down. Maybe he’s decided the challenger doesn’t have the challenger to hurt him?

Essuman pins Kongo on the ropes but good defence from the challenger, not sure there’s anything getting through. The champ smothering his own shots a little bit by being too close - maybe should take half a step back.

A right possibly snuck through in the end. That was Essuman’s round, regardless.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 5

21:20 , Luke Baker

Essuman noticeably busier now, no longer allowing Kongo to dictate. He comes in close a couple of times and tries to pummel the body. He needed to do something to stop this fight drifting away from him.

A nice Essuman right clips the chin and he then forces Kongo back against the ropes.

Better round for the champ.

Eubank Jr getting his hands wrapped

21:17 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr is having his hands wrapped with Paul Smith - Liam’s brother - watching on intently.

Willing a mistake to be made that he can complain about to disrupt Junior’s prep, you’d imagine!

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Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 4

21:16 , Luke Baker

Much more positive from Essuman to start the 4th but Kongo responds with a couple of nice shots.

Essuman has come on strong in his previous fights so he won’t be worried but Kongo connects with a left hook that follows a right.

The challenger is dictating the pace so far although Essuman throws a couple of body shots to finish the rounds.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 3

21:12 , Luke Baker

The challenger Kongo will be pleased with his start. He’s established the jab and of the two, he’s the one controlling the fight. So far, so clever.

Kongo in rhythm and looks to land a right over the top. A wild swing from Essuman is easily ducked under by his foe.

Neat left from Kongo lands after a right fails and you’d have to say that’s probably another round for the challenger. He’s looking good here

WATCH: Ekow Essuman’s ringwalk

21:09 , Luke Baker

Here was Essuman’s ringwalk ahead of this fight. Showmanship

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Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 2

21:08 , Luke Baker

Kongo working the jab early in the 2nd. Essuman getting very low and trying to work his way under that extended left arm.

Most of the action in the centre of the ring as they circle. Kongo not being too predictable, even as he works the jab - sometimes single jab, sometimes double, sometimes a feint or a follow with the hook.

Kongo the busier fighter, although Essuman unruffled with his high guard, so it will depend what the judges like but Essuman comes on to the front foot a couple of times in the final minute, landing a couple of jabs.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo - Round 1

21:05 , Luke Baker

Interesting opening round. Essuman landed a good right hand over the top, which was the best punch of the round but Kongo took it well.

Both men feeling each other out.

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo

20:59 , Luke Baker

Both men in the ring and we’re getting underway shortly.

Chris ‘2Slick’ Kongo is 14-1, his only defeat coming at the hands of Michael McKinson back in March 2021. Since then, he’s hit back with a couple of wins over Kelvin Dotel and Sebastian Formella.

The champion is Eko ‘The Engine’ Essuman - 18-0 and he won the British and Commonwealth title from Chris Jenkins back in July 2021. The 33-year-old has had two successful defences since then.

Let’s get it on!

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo

20:55 , Luke Baker

Looking forward to this next fight. There’s been a bit of beef between Ekow Essuman and Chris Kongo which means they’re likely to leave it all on the line as they compete for the British and Commonwealth welterweight titles.

Ring walks for that fight are happening as I type. Strap in

Latest odds for Eubank Jr vs Smith

20:49 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr, perhaps unsurprisingly as the bigger man, is the favourite for tonight’s middleweight bout. Smith’s prices have been drifting outwards all this week.

Latest odds

Eubank Jr – 1/3

Smith – 12/5

Draw – 14/1

Via Betway.

Undercard update

20:48 , Luke Baker

There should be just two more fights before our main event tonight. Ekow Essuman will be squaring off against Chris Kongo in a welterweight bout next before Richard Riakporhe and Krzysztof Glowacki do battle at cruiserweight.

Full card

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith (middleweight)

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki (cruiserweight)

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo (welterweight)

Joseph Parker def Jack Massey (heavyweight)

Frazer Clarke def Kevin Espindola (heavyweight)

Matty Harris def Jiri Surmaj (heavyweight)

Scott Forrest def Amine Boucetta (cruiserweight)

Frankie Stringer def Christian Narvaez (lightweight)

Joseph Parker gets back on track

20:45 , Luke Baker

It was a relatively comfortable win for Joseph Parker in the end, although he was given a few more problems than expected by his opponent Jack Massey.

But ultimately a unanimous decision for the New Zealander - which was the right call. Back on track after defeat to Joe Joyce.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
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Chris Eubank Jr wears rainbow armband at weigh-in for Liam Smith fight

20:35 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr wore a rainbow armband in support of the LGBTQ+ community at the weigh-in for his grudge fight with Liam Smith.

The move follows homophobic comments made at the pre-fight press conference on Thursday.

Sky Sports were forced to apologise after Smith taunted his rival about his private life and asked him to come out on several occasions.

And in response Eubank Jr made his way to the stage wearing both a Manchester United shirt and the rainbow armband.

After removing the football shirt, Eubank Jr made a statement by keeping the armband on to both stand on the scales and then pose head to head with Smith.

Chris Eubank Jr wears rainbow armband at weigh-in for Liam Smith fight

Boxing called on to ‘take decisive action’ after homophobic comments made by Liam Smith

20:20 , Luke Baker

Boxing has been called on to “take decisive action” after Liam Smith directed homophobic comments towards Chris Eubank Jr in the build-up to their grudge fight.

Smith questioned Eubank Jr’s sexuality at Thursday’s press conference, leading broadcaster Sky Sports to make an apology.

Eubank Jr, who insisted Smith “embarrassed himself” with his comments, then wore a rainbow armband at the weigh-in before posing head to head with his Liverpudlian rival.

“We don’t discriminate,” Eubank Jr added. “We don’t alienate. We want boxing and sport as a whole to be all inclusive.”

The British Boxing Board of Control confirmed on Friday that they will “consider the conduct of both boxers directly,” British LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall has urged the governing body to show they take anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric seriously.

Boxing must take ‘decisive action’ after Liam Smith’s homophobic comments

Liam Smith is in the building

20:07 , Luke Baker

One half of tonight’s main event has arrived. Liam Smith looking focussed.

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Joseph Parker vs Jack Massey

20:06 , Luke Baker

Heavyweight action currently happening in the ring. Joseph Parker taking on Jack Massey, with Parker looking to bounce back from his loss to Joe Joyce last time out.

Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte and Joyce the only men to beat Parker in his career - not bad for 33 fights. He’s looking to get back on track against Massey tonight.

WATCH: Chris Eubank Jr says Liam Smith ‘embarrassed himself’ in controversial press conference

20:01 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr feels Liam Smith “embarrassed himself” as the British rivals engaged in an ugly slanging match ahead of their middleweight showdown.

A contrite Smith afterwards accepted the personal barbs “crossed a line” following a reference to Eubank Jr’s sexuality during the final press conference for their fight at Manchester’s AO Arena.

“You go on about girls, has anyone in this room ever seen you with a girl? I am just asking, do you want to tell us something?” Smith asked.

Sky Sports have also since apologised for the remarks made on stage.

‘There’s going to be a stoppage’ - David Haye predicts Eubank Jr vs Smith

19:52 , Luke Baker

Former cruiserweight and heavyweight champion David Haye is in the building and has given his prediction about tonight’s main event.

After a tight first few rounds, he’s confident there will be a stoppage.

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Look who has come to watch...

19:44 , Luke Baker

Tonight’s main event has captured the interest of the boxing world and there are some big names in attendance at the AO Arena. That includes a certain Tyson Fury...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)
 (PA)
(PA)

Frazer Clarke notches a win

19:39 , Luke Baker

‘Big Fraze’ Frazer Clarke got the job done in the latest undercard fight. The Olympian - a super-heavyweight bronze medallist at Tokyo 2020 - moved to 5-0 with a win over Kevin Espindola.

Espindola looked to suffer a right-arm injury early on and appeared in some discomfort. Eventually, he retired on his stool after the fourth round of the scheduled six-rounder. He’d never been stopped before.

Big Fraze probably not far away from a shot at the English heavyweight title as he continues to build his pro career.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

Sky Sports apologise after ‘homophobic remarks’ in Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith press conference

19:31 , Luke Baker

Sky Sports were forced to apologise after “homophobic remarks” were made between Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr at their pre-fight press conference.

The Liverpudlian provoked his rival ahead of their all-British middleweight grudge match at the Manchester Arena.

The former world champion confronted Eubank Jr about his private life and urged his rival to come out.

But Eubank Jr appeared to laugh off Smith’s attempts to unsettle him, stating: “my private life is my private life”.

He then made a personal insult of his own concerning his rival’s relationship with his wife before adding: “If you would like to ask me a question just slide into my DMs.”

Sky Sports apologise after ‘homophobic remarks’ in Eubank Jr v Smith press conference

Undercard results

19:23 , Luke Baker

A few results to bring you from the undercard so far.

On the biggest night of his young boxing career so far, Frankie Stringer won the evening’s opening bout. He took every round of his four-round lightweight contest against Christian Narvaez to move to 4-0. He is expected to be back in the ring next month.

Scott Forrest won the second fight of the night at cruiserweight, beating Amine Boucetta 60-54.

Matty Harris then completely obliterated Jiri Surmaj inside 90 seconds of their heaveyweight clash. Three first-round knockouts on the spin now for Harris. Watch that knockout below.

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Eubank Jr vs Smith live stream: How to watch fight online and on TV today

19:17 , Luke Baker

Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith will square off in an all-English clash tonight as the middleweight main event in Manchester.

Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 knockouts) last fought 11 months ago, outpointing Liam Williams on the Welshman’s home turf in Cardiff, though the 33-year-old should have stepped in the ring again in October.

A highly-anticipated bout with Conor Benn fell through on late notice, however, amid adverse findings in Benn’s drug-test results.

Meanwhile, 34-year-old Smith’s last outing came in September, when the Liverpudlian (32-3-1, 19 KOs) stopped Hassan Mwakinyo in the fourth round.

Here’s all you need to know about Eubank Jr vs Smith:

How to watch Eubank Jr vs Smith online and on TV today

Who else is fighting tonight?

19:04 , Luke Baker

Here’s the full undercard for tonight’s event. We’ll update you on a couple of the early results shortly, with Matty Harris having just obliterated Jiri Surmaj inside 90 seconds of a six-round heavyweight fight.

Full card (subject to change)

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith (middleweight)

Richard Riakporhe vs Krzysztof Glowacki (cruiserweight)

Ekow Essuman vs Chris Kongo (welterweight)

Joseph Parker vs Jack Massey (heavyweight)

Frazer Clarke vs Kevin Espindola (heavyweight)

Matty Harris vs Jiri Surmaj (heavyweight)

Scott Forrest vs Amine Boucetta (cruiserweight)

Frankie Stringer vs Christian Narvaez (lightweight)

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith: A fight of family pride and a risk for both

18:56 , Luke Baker

The venerable Steve Bunce has given his thoughts on this evening’s main event.

”Smith and Eubank Jr have been in the same fighting circles for a long time, sparring on occasion, eyeing each other up, separated by a few pounds and inevitably pulled together when the sums made sense. It is a very good fight at any weight; Eubank Jr has none of the weight-draining obligations hanging high above his head that he had for last year’s cancelled fight with Conor Benn. It was called off after an irregular drug test surfaced and after a bad 24 hours for the sport, where it looked like the pound note and not common sense and decency would rule the day. Benn was brutally cast out.

“The fallout from that failure is still being felt, but Eubank Jr has insisted that it has not caused him to lose a moment of sleep. “It happened, the fight was off - I moved on and now I have to beat Liam,” said Eubank Jr. Meanwhile, Benn is still insisting that he is innocent of all drug charges and is hoping to totally clear his name in the coming weeks.

“Smith emerged as an opponent from that mess and that is how the year will start with a tremendous domestic fight. It is, make no mistake, a risk for both.”

Eubank Jr vs Smith is a fight of family pride and a risk for both

Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith

18:50 , Luke Baker

Welcome to The Independent’s coverage of the much-anticipated middleweight bout between Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith in Manchester this evening.

Eubank Jr (32-2, 23 knockouts) was set for the biggest fight of his career in October, as the son of boxing icon Eubank Sr was scheduled to face Connor Benn, the son of Nigel Benn, in London. But adverse findings in Benn’s drug-test results saw the main event aborted at short notice.

Now, Eubank Jr, 33, looks to move forward with a new headline bout, taking on 34-year-old Liverpudlian Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) - part of a boxing family himself - in something of a grudge match, with fight week being marred by controversy.

Smith made homophobic remarks and questioned Eubank Jr’s sexuality during Thursday’s press conference, with accusations of Smith cheating on his wife being thrown in the opposite direction, before Junior then wore a rainbow armband to show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community for Friday’s weigh-in. The British Boxing Board of Control confirmed that they will “consider the conduct of both boxers directly,” while British LGBTQ+ rights charity Stonewall has urged the governing body to show they take anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric seriously.

Stick with us for all the action

Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith during the weigh-in (PA)
Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith during the weigh-in (PA)