Chris Eubank Jr., in a fight that might make or break his career, ventures into uncharted territory by taking on Liam Smith.
Seven months have passed since that unforgettable night in Manchester, when British boxing fans witnessed one of the sport’s most bombastic and self-proclaimed’marmite’ personalities be firmly humbled and have his legs turned to jelly by a ferocious fourth-round attack.
In his debut professional bout, Eubank was stopped after taking two knockdowns from Smith’s continuous suffocating pressure and ferocious blows.
The way Eubank was quickly dismantled by Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves in a destructive blur of power punches was unlike anything we’d ever seen before, and he knows he can’t afford a repeat performance as he tries to quickly recover in Saturday’s rematch, which had been postponed twice.
This Saturday, the 33-year-old is fighting for more than just redemption and reputation; if he loses decisively again, he may never be relevant again.
From an alleged slip to complacency to his fight weight after the cancelled clash with Conor Benn and plenty more besides, Smith has been left irate by his rival’s seemingly endless stream of excuses since their January showdown in Manchester. Most recently, the Liverpudlian has rightly bristled at the result being dismissively derided as a “absolute miracle.”
Since then, Eubank has parted ways with his trainer, the renowned former four-weight world champion Roy Jones Jr., and hired Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre, who is best known for his work with the new undisputed welterweight king Terence Crawford.
Liam Smith faces Chris Eubank Jr./PA again, and he hopes to duplicate his victory from January.
‘Bud’ has been giving Eubank some great advice this week, and the new stablemate is hoping that Eubank’s performance against Errol Spence Jr. in Las Vegas last month will serve as a source of motivation.
Thursday’s final press conference was thankfully free of the offensive remarks that plagued the build-up to the first fight, but it was still a heated affair between two men who clearly have no love lost. “I know I am the better fighter and I am going to go out there and prove it,” Eubank said.
“The training I’ve received has been superb, and the show I’m about to give will be beautiful, almost miraculous. It’s going to be a stunning, artistic performance of brutal boxing.
Smith, on the other hand, is unmoved by Eubank’s increased boldness and has vowed resolutely to inflict the same kind of damage once again.
Repeat performance is guaranteed. He threatened, “If he continues to make the same mistakes, I will punish him.”