Boxing tips: Chris Eubank Jr to get the job done in Saturday night’s grudge match with Liam Williams

Our top tipster Matt Gipon gets stuck into an eagerly-awaited main event.

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Boxing went on pause in January to avoid straining medical services but when the resume button is hit in Cardiff this Saturday expect it to make up for lost time – in the main event Chris Eubank Jr travels to take on local hard nut Liam Williams, while on the undercard two-fist royalty Claressa Shields is looking to introduce herself to UK fans with a big win and Chris Jenkins and Julius Indongo shoot it out in last chance saloon. 

10PM: CHRIS EUBANK JR VS LIAM WILLIAMS

SECTION: Chris Eubank Jr Points or Decision

These two are chalk and cheese: Eubank is the flashy, pretty boy and Williams is the no-nonsense tough guy, and Sky’s “Gloves Are Off” sets up a spicy showdown. But, of course, dislike isn’t the only reason they are fighting and either man can set up a middleweight world title shot with a good win. 

Junior is a solid favourite in Paddy’s book – he’s beaten the bigger and better names, such as James Degale and Arthur Abraham – but he came short against George Groves the only time he threw leather for a legit world title back in 2018. 

Williams fought for a championship for the first time in his last bout when he was outclassed by American slickster Demetrius Andrade. The Welshman had earned his shot with a run of seven consecutive KO wins after a pair of close defeats to former titleholder Liam Smith at super welter.

The thing that has impressed with Williams is his constant improvement – ‘The Machine’ changed divisions and looked stronger, he’s been more aggressive but landed more, and he’s trained with Britain’s best coaches. Now, Liam is with Adam Booth and I expect him to refine his violence and try to use his schooling to pick at Eubank – at least in the early rounds. 

Eubank has been seeking to add things to his game too: away from boxing, he got his beard beautifully re-thatched and, more relevantly, he moved to the US to train with the legendary Roy Jones Jr on his farm. It is RJJ’s plan to add nuances to the Brighton boxer who has been a little one-dimensional in the past. 

Williams really struggled with Andrade’s speed and he was caught by the uppercut repeatedly later in the fight. Eubank has similarly fast hands and a wicked upper, and if Williams is chasing the fight and pouring on pressure he might get walked on to something. 

I am tempted to back Eubank for the late stoppage win but things haven’t quite clicked with Coach Jones yet and the South Coast strutter hasn’t actually knocked someone out properly since 2017. I think Williams will be wobbled at least once but he has the engine and grit to hear the final bell as Eubank takes another win on the judges cards. 

UNDERCARD

9pm: Claressa Shields v Ema Kozin – Shields to win on points

The real reason two-weight undisputed American champ Shields is in Cardiff this weekend is to set the stage for a mega-bout with Durham’s unbeaten world champion Savannah Marshall. Marshall inflicted Shield’s only defeat – amateur or pro – in 2012 and they are set to rematch, but first Shields has to attend to business with Ema Kozin.

The undefeated Kozin is young, southpaw and has some skills, but she doesn’t come close to her American opponent’s double Olympic gold-pedigree or athleticism. If the Slovenian won the middleweight baubles on the line in Wales it would be a bigger shock than Jake Paul winning a world title. 

Shields may be the ‘GWOAT’ (greatest woman of all time) but she doesn’t have historic power – the Michigan mauler has only scored two stoppage wins in her professional career. The American has only boxed a couple of times in the last three year because she is dabbling in MMA and I’m backing her to get a slightly rusty but comprehensive points win.

8pm: Chris Jenkins v Julius Indongo – Jenkins to win via KO

It is highly likely that Jenkins versus Indongo will be blood, guts and multiple knockdowns. Wales’ Jenkins, 33, was British and Commonwealth champ just two fights ago but his record in his last seven bouts is 3-2-2, with four fights stopped by cuts to Jenkins and ‘8-counts’ for both the man from Swansea and his opponents. 

Indongo was a big star for about 12 months between 2016 and 2017 when he beat Ricky Burns and Eduard Troyanovsky to claim two world titles at super lightweight, but since then he’s lost four of five fights all by KO before the end of round four. 

Some of the boxers who have beaten Indongo, 38, recently were elite, and levels above Jenkins, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the Nambian’s chin has gone. I think Jenkins will get the KO win but if you want to bet cautiously take the fight not to go the distance. 

Saturday Boxing tips

10pm: Chris Eubank Jr v Liam Williams: Eubank Jr to win via Points or Decision
9pm: Claressa Shields v Ema Kozin: Shields to win on points
8pm: Chris Jenkins v Julius Indongo: Jenkins to win via KO

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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