Pick It: TBRB #4 (160) Chris Eubank Jr. vs. #9 (154) Liam Smith (Saturday, DAZN, 2:00 PM EST)

A little extra trash talk got this fight some attention heading into the weekend. Could that mean fireworks in the ring? At the least, there should be a solid crowd in Manchester for this middleweight main event. The 33-year old Eubank (32-2, 23 KO) has won six in a row since falling short in a challenge of George Groves for the WBA super middleweight title in 2018, his most recent a thrashing of Liam Williams. The 34-year old Smith (32-3-1, 19 KO), a former Jr. middleweight titlist, has scored three straight stoppages since a loss to Magomed Kurbanov. Smith’s only stoppage loss came versus Saul Alvarez in 2016. 

Additional Shows to Watch For

Friday - Hemphill vs. Stevens (Showtime, 9:00 PM EST)

ShoBox kicks off in traditional fashion with a tripleheader highlighting some of boxing’s bright young lights. Super middleweights head the card in a clash of unbeaten hopefuls. 27-year old Sean Hemphill (14-0, 8 KO) will attempt to stop 22-year old David Stevens (11-0, 8 KO) from running his knockout streak to three. It’s one of three undefeated clashes on the night with support from light heavyweight, Artem Brusov (12-0, 11 KO) vs. Atif Oberlton (7-0, 6 KO), and lightweight, Rosalindo Morales (9-0, 2 KO) vs. Julian Gonzalez (8-0-1, 8 KO).

Saturday - Stiverne vs. Guidry (FITE, 7:00 PM EST)   

Hardcore fight fans who yearn for the days of Don King pay-per-view cards have one this weekend. 44-year old former heavyweight titlist Bermane Stiverne (25-5-1, 21 KO) is a long way from his wins over Chris Arreola or losses to Deontay Wilder. Stiverne enters this one having lost three straight by stoppage, though his loss to Trevor Bryan was surprisingly entertaining. 33-year old Jonathan Guidry (18-1-2, 11 KO) has never been stopped and will attempt to push Stiverne a step closer to the exit. 

Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene, a founding member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, a member of the International Boxing Research Organization, and a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.  He can be reached at roldboxing@hotmail.com