Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr 2: Pros and pundits give predictions for middleweight rematch

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Venue: Manchester Arena Date: Saturday, 2 September
Coverage: Follow live text coverage and reaction on BBC Sport website & app from 21:00 BST

Chris Eubank Jr aims to gain revenge over Liam Smith in their rematch at Manchester Arena on Saturday.

The middleweight rivals are set to face off again seven months after their first encounter, at which Smith stopped Eubank inside four rounds.

It was the first stoppage defeat of Eubank’s career and 35-year-old Smith is hunting a fifth knockout win in a row.

Eubank, 33, says Smith’s win was a “miracle” – a description his Liverpudlian opponent has laughed off as ridiculous.

While Smith may well go on to challenge for world honours with another win, Eubank’s career may not recover from another big defeat.

Can Eubank get back to winning ways or will it be another happy night for Smith and his supporters making the short trip from Liverpool?

Here are predictions from some big names in the world of boxing:

Former unified super-featherweight champion Mikaela Mayer: “I’m hoping to see [trainer] Brian ‘Bomac’ McIntyre’s influence in Eubank’s gameplan. I believe there will be some adjustments on his part and it will make for a more competitive fight. Eubank Jr to edge the win in a close rematch.”

Heavyweight Frazer Clarke: “Liam is great at breaking people down. I probably see [a knockout] after round nine because Chris is fit.”

British light-middleweight Josh Kelly: “I think it’s going to be a Smith win. I’m not sure if it’s going to be in the same fashion, it could be a points decision this time, but I’m certain it’ll be another Smith win.”

Two-weight world champion Natasha Jonas: “Liam wins. I think the best Chris can do is make it last longer.”

Boxxer promoter Ben Shalom: “I still believe Liam is the slight favourite in this fight. And if he’s on form, he’s 100%, he’s had the preparation, he should win the fight. But it’s one of those that could go either way. I think we will see the fight we thought we would see. One that goes the distance, an absolute shootout.”

Smith’s coach Joe McNally: “Jr’s a magnificent talent. He can fight, he can box. Can we capitalise on a lot of the mistakes he does? Most definitely, which we plan to do.”

Former light-middleweight world champion Hannah Rankin: “This time I am going with Smith on points. I feel that Eubank is a strong and will be less weight drained this time, but I think Smith has the superior boxing IQ.”

Unbeaten middleweight Hamzah Sheeraz: “I’ve got Smith winning again via knockout but I feel the fight is going to last a little longer this time, with Smith winning around rounds 8-10. Eubank is going to be more cautious of Smith this time and could pull it off but I don’t see it.”

Light-welterweight Harlem Eubank: “I predict an emphatic win for Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday night and, likely, it will be by stoppage.”

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