Liam Smith v Chris Eubank Jr 2: Revenge or repeat in Manchester?
Chris Eubank Jr is confident of avenging January’s loss to Liam Smith when the bitter British rivals do battle again at the AO Arena in Manchester.
The Brighton boxer was favourite for their first encounter but suffered a fourth-round stoppage at the same venue after being floored twice.
The 35-year-old had never been stopped before in 34 previous bouts, which brought 32 wins and points losses to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves.
Some have questioned whether the wealthy son of superstar fighter Chris Eubank has the hunger to come through a tough contest but he dismissed such suggestions.
Eubank Jr insisted there is no chance of him quitting during Saturday’s rematch, declaring: “I’ve told them to keep those towels out of the corner.
“If we’ve got to go out on my shield, we’re going to go out on my shield – that’s how we play it.
“We’re not going to do any of that looking for the easy way out – if it gets rough, if it gets hairy, we’re there for the long haul. We’re going to get through it.”
Ahead of the Sky Sports Box Office showdown, he added: “What happened in the last fight was not supposed to happen.
“Even to Liam – he may not admit it – but he was not expecting the fight to finish how it finished. Nobody was.
“I know I am the better fighter and I am going to go out there and prove it on Saturday.
“The preparation I have had has been excellent and the performance I am going to have is going to be exquisite, supernatural. It is going to be a beautiful, artistic display of savage boxing.”
Smith determined to confirm superiority
Smith hails from an incredible fighting family himself, with brothers Paul, Stephen and Callum all professional boxers as well.
The Liverpudlian is a former WBO light-middleweight champion, a title he only surrendered to the brilliant Canelo Alvarez.
That Texas tear-up was seven years ago and Beefy has lost twice more in a dozen subsequent bouts, with his overall record standing at 33-3-1.
The rematch was delayed twice due to Smith suffering minor injuries but he insisted: “I’m fully healed up now, injury-free, and I’m looking forward to finishing Chris Eubank Jr’s career.
“We can look forward to getting rid of this itch that needs scratching. I’ve always said a fully fit Liam Smith beats Chris Eubank Jr every time.”
In the first bout, Smith made the better start but Eubank Jr regrouped for the second round, following up a jab with a couple of slick combinations as he looked to get back on level terms, and then broke through with some uppercuts in the third.
However, the contest was brought to a swift conclusion in the fourth round when Smith forced Eubank Jr into the corner and then sent him onto the canvas with a left uppercut and hook combination.
Although Eubank Jr bravely got back to his feet, he was soon down again from another right-hand shot, which prompted referee Victor Loughlin to step in and give Smith a fourth straight victory.
“All week it was, ‘Chris couldn’t be hurt’. I was like, ‘Never say never’. I told everyone, ‘Don’t think anyone can’t be hurt because they have got a good chin’.
“I do still think he has got a good chin, but he got hit, looking at the floor, and he went. The same will happen again.”
All odds and market correct at date of publication