Liam Smith is a big outsider with the bookmakers for his fight with Chris Eubank Jr on Saturday night in Manchester, something the Liverpudlian just struggles to understand.

The former WBO super-welterweight champion comes into this fight in a good run of form but apart from the fact that Eubank has been operating at a higher weight, Smith struggles to make a case for him.

“If Chris was a 154-pound fighter and the size wasn’t involved and this match was made, who wins?” Smith said. “If you ask people to strip it back in that sense, beside the size, I do everything better than Chris - fundamentals, variety.

“He’s a fit good athlete who’s got a very, very good chin and that’s why I’ve openly said, I’m made up he’s got Roy Jones Jr in his corner for this fight. Again, if I’m an easier fight than Conor Benn, why are you paying money for Roy Jones to train you.”

The Eubank fight was, says Smith, his main reason for signing with Boxxer, Sky’s exclusive promoter. He was aware that Eubank had one fight left on his deal with Boxxer, after his win over Liam Williams, despite having signed to Wasserman and having signed to fight Conor Benn on a Matchroom show.

“I knew with me signing here that was one of the big fights that was going to be easier to make for me,” Smith said. “I always knew, after the fight in Livepool (against Hassan Mwakinyo in September), hopefully try and push and make the Chris fight. Chris was fighting Benn beforehand. Even if he came through the Conor Benn fight I was probably going to try and make that fight next. But that fell through and it’s here quicker than we thought.

“It’s a big fight because of the name, his second name, because of his demeanor and his attitude, he’s made himself a big name in British boxing. It is a high-profile fight.

“I’m 100% confident of beating Chris Eubank Jr and if anything I’ll probably have the option to stay at middleweight, go back to 154 pounds if those titles become vacant or whatever. I fully intend on beating Chris. It’s not going to harm any of my rankings, it’s not going to move me back from the position I’m in. We will see how the picture unfolds.”

Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.