Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams both have ambitions of being a middleweight world champion but only one will realistically have a chance to make their dreams come true after Saturday night.
Eubank Jr is the bookmaker’s favourite and he has stoked the fight’s flames by accusing Liam Williams of being ‘a keyboard warrior’ ahead of their grudge match in Cardiff.
The Welshman was vocal in his distain for his opponent when the two sat down to face-off with former world cruiserweight champion Jonny Nelson keeping the peace, while Eubank Jr launched a verbal assault on his opponent.
“Maybe he isn’t real, maybe he is fake. He is a keyboard warrior, just like all the other guys,” Eubank Jr said. “He has a lot to say with his thumbs, but when the time comes and he’s in front of the man he’s supposed to say it to, he backs down and I don’t respect that.”
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams odds
Chris Eubank Jr @ 3/10 with bet365
Liam Williams @ 5/2 with bet365
Draw @ 16/1 with bet365
The bookmakers recognise Eubank Jr’s pedigree and have made him a strong favourite to win in Cardiff. His only two professional defeats came against high quality opponents in Billy-Joe Saunders and George Groves, who are both arguably a level above Williams.
Williams, however, will fancy his chances of an upset in front of a fervent crowd, 95 per cent of whom will be very vocal in their support of him and in their dislike of Eubank Jr. BBC boxing analyst Steve Bunce sees the clash as a 50/50 encounter but the bookies disagree.
Passion and desire is not enough to win boxing matches alone and it’s difficult to see Williams really troubling Eubank Jr in the same way as Saunders and Groves did. Williams could be worth a gamble if his price drifts north of 3/1 in the lead up to the fight but at 5/2 there’s not enough value.
- Click here to check out our Eubank Jr vs Williams prediction and betting tips
Chris Eubank Jr vs Liam Williams betting preview
It should not go without mention that Eubank Jr now has true boxing royalty in the form of American former four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr in his corner. The subtle tweaks that Jones Jr will have added to his protege’s game need to come to fruition on Saturday night.
If Williams is banking on his opponent shrinking in the face of a hostile reception at the Motorpoint Arena he should probably think again. Eubank Jr dealt with a similarly intimidating scene when he travelled to Germany to face local favourite Avni Yildirim five years ago.
He recalled: “I walked out to see signs saying ‘welcome to hell’ and ‘you are going to die’. “People were spitting and shouting at me. I was there to do a job, not to get hung up on the crowd. The same guys who were booing me were asking for pictures and saying ‘well done’ after.”
Eubank duly dispatched Yildirim inside three rounds. Williams is certain to put up more resistance than that but he must ensure that he doesn’t let the pressure of being the hometown fighter effect him negatively.