Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams will finally go head-to-head in an enticing domestic grudge match on February 5.
The middleweight clash has been pushed back on two occasions, first from December 11 due to an injury suffered by Williams, and second from January 29 after the British Boxing Board of Control suspended UK boxing for the month of January to allow medical professionals to focus their attention on battling the coronavirus pandemic.
The bout was tentatively rescheduled for February 5, though with lingering concerns regarding Wales’ Covid restrictions, but it finally got the greenlight just over three weeks out with the Welsh government confirming that indoor sporting events could resume.
Eubank Jr, who has twice fallen short against elite opposition, comes in as the favourite having shown promising improvements in his two bouts under trainer Roy Jones Jr, as he looks to set up a world title shot later in the year, potentially against Gennady Golovkin.
Williams is targeting both redemption and a title shot of his own after falling short while making his US debut against Demetrius Andrade in their WBO middleweight title clash in April last year.
There will be action in abundance before the middleweight rivals finally get their hands on each other on fight night, with Claressa ‘GWOAT’ Shields making her UK debut on the undercard, while Caroline Dubois, sister of Daniel, makes her first professional outing.
With the intriguing spectacle swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know.
Middleweights Chris Eubank Jr (left) and Liam Williams (right) will square off on February 5
When is Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams?
The clash between Eubank Jr and Williams is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 5 at the Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff.
Claressa Shields will also be making her UK debut on the card
The pair are expected to walk to the ring at around 10pm for those in the UK, though that will of course depend on results beforehand.
As stated, there is also plenty of action on the undercard. Shields will defend her WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight titles against the undefeated Ema Kozin, in most likely her final fight before an historic undisputed encounter against Britain’s Savannah Marshall.
Dubois, also fighting on the undercard, has spoken of her excitement to be on the same bill as one of her idols, Shields, as the Olympian looks to make an impression early on in the pro ranks.
How to watch the fight
The fight, which will be a 12-round contest, will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
Customers will be able to stream the fight via the app on their mobile, tablet or computer device.
You can also buy a Sky Sports Day Pass from Now for £9.98, which also includes a six-month Mobile Month Membership.
Sportsmail will also be covering the fight live, so you can keep up-to-date with us.
Eubank Jr vs Williams: The key stats
Chris Eubank Jr
Height: 5ft 11in
Record: 31W, 2L, 0D
Height: 5ft 10in
Record: 23W, 3L, 1D
Eubank Jr dismantled German middleweight Wanik Awdijan in his previous outing in October
Williams, meanwhile, lost via unanimous decision to WBO champion Demetrius Andrade
Fight card in full
- Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams
- Claressa Shields vs Ema Kozin
- Caroline Dubois vs TBA
- Samuel Antwi vs Conah Walker
- Chris Jenkins vs Julius Indongo
- Rhys Edwards vs Ruslan Berchuk
- Steve Robinson vs Shane Gill
- Harlem Eubank vs TBA
*More to follow
What’s been said?
There has been plenty of bad blood between the pair in the build-up to the eagerly-anticipated event, with words exchanged both online and in person.
At their press conference in November, after being sent a barrage of insults online by his impending opponent, Eubank Jr insisted Williams will pay for his words.
‘Respect is definitely not a word I would use for my feelings towards Liam,’ Eubank Jr said. ‘He has said a lot of reckless things online. It doesn’t sit well with me.
‘This is a grudge match, a genuine domestic rivalry. It is personal. He has made it personal. He has come here today and tried to talk about respect? It has gone too far past that now. He will pay for what he has said. He will get embarrassed.’
Eubank Jr insisted the fight against Williams had become personal after his opponent’s insults
Williams, on the other hand, insisted his game plan was not difficult to devise.
‘We all know what his strengths and weaknesses are,’ he said. ‘Anyone with a good jab and a bit of movement he’ll struggle with. If you stand in front of him with no head movement, he will punch holes in you. He’s very tough and durable.’
Since then, Eubank Jr has revealed he ‘buried’ Williams in their sit down face-to-face, which is yet to air, branding his opponent a ‘true-life keyboard warrior’.
Williams insists Eubank Jr’s flaws are there fall all to see
‘My opponent Liam Williams has been very active on social media when it comes to being disrespectful, insults, trash talk,’ he said.
‘We had a head-to-head on Sky which will be shown in the next few weeks when we sat down on the table and talked for half an hour and in that talk, I bury him.
‘Pretty much for the entire time, he had no comebacks, and it’s just funny to see how different somebody is when they’re not in front of a laptop.
‘A real, true-life keyboard warrior. That’s what Liam Williams is. I’m No 1 in Britain, he’s No 2. So it’s going to be fireworks, it’s going to be an exciting fight and I can’t wait to get in there.’
Now or never for Eubank Jr
At 32 years of age, Eubank Jr is now heading into the prime years of his career, and now as one of the top names in the Sky ranks, he has the backing to propel himself towards stardom.
It’s whether the Briton can seize that opportunity that remains the question. He’s fallen short at the top level on two prior occasions, first against Billy Joe Saunders all the way back in 2014, before losing out in his sole world title shot against George Groves in 2018.
Things are now different for Eubank Jr, however. Having previously fluctuated between trainers, including Nate Vasquez and Virgul Hunter, also often training alone, the more experienced fighter is now working under the stewardship of the legendary Roy Jones Jr.
It’s a partnership that is clearly paying off. Having described his new coach as a ‘genius’, Eubank Jr has notched two impressive wins during their time together, first with an uncharacteristically measured, patient victory over Marcus Morrison, and second a clinical breakdown of Awdijan.
Eubank Jr, 32, has shown big improvements since partnering with trainer Roy Jones Jr
Gennady Golovkin (left) and Demetrius Andrade (right) could be potential future opponents
Tougher tests are to come – and will come on February 5 – but it’s a positive sign regardless.
Eubank Jr now stands at the precipice of a world title shot, being the mandatory challenger for the WBA belt currently held by Ryota Murata. The Japanese middleweight was due to take on IBF champion Golovkin in December in a unification bout but it was cancelled due to Covid restrictions. The fight will now reportedly be rescheduled to either March or April.
Crucially, these are now the calibre of opponents that Eubank Jr is targeting. Promoter Kalle Sauerland revealed in December that the likes of Golovkin, Andrade, WBC champion Jermall Charlo and even Saunders are potential upcoming opponents.
He also revealed that talks were underway to set up a clash against Andrade prior to the tragic death of Eubank Jr’s brother Sebastian last July.
Eubank Jr is expected to beat Williams, but he can certainly make a splash with a statement performance, one that could earn him a world title shot later in the year.
Eubank Jr vs Williams: The odds
Having made clear improvements in his two fights under Roy Jones Jr, it comes as no surprise that Eubank Jr is the favourite to win on February 5.
The enigmatic fighter is the 4/11 favourite to get the win, with a draw at 16/1 and a Williams victory at 2/1.
*Odds as per Betfair and correct at the time of publication.