Eubank Jr breaks silence after Smith KO loss with classy message
Chris Eubank Jr previews fight with Liam Smith
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Chris Eubank Jr may be known as the bad guy of British boxing but he will have won over some fans with the class and humility he showed in defeat to Liam Smith last night. Next Gen was stopped by a series of heavy shots in the fourth round of his domestic grudge match in Manchester. This marks the first time he has been knocked out in his boxing career, both amateur and professional.
From the off, Eubank Jr started brightly establishing his sharp jab early and whipping in his trademark right uppercut to good effect. But a patient Smith remained composed and waited for his openings.
That opportunity arose in round four as Smith backed the Brighton boxer up into the corner and unleashed a blistering combination that sent Eubank Jr tumbling to the canvas. Looking unsteady on his feet, the 33-year-old beat the count but was instantly caught by a clubbing right to close out the show.
Leading up to the contest, there had been a lot of bad blood. But thankfully, post-fight, both men showed respect to each other as they embraced in the centre of the ring. Eubank Jr was escorted out of the arena shortly after the loss but not before showing immense class in congratulating his rival.
“Listen, big congratulations to him,” he said. “I felt like I could have gone on but he caught me with a great shot. The build-up was the build-up, it got a bit ugly in the end, I regretted that and I respect you and I respect your family. I will return. If the fans want a rematch we can get it on at Anfield but big respect man, I appreciate it.”
This brief exchange of words was then followed up by a message from Eubank Jr on social media, reading: “Congratulations to Liam tonight, nice lil shot you caught me with there my boy. Felt like I could of kept going but the referee is in charge & I respect his decision. We’ll get it on again soon.”
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Eubank Jr is understood to have a rematch clause in the Smith contract and looks set to activate it judging from his words in the aftermath. Before fight night, there had been talk of him going on to face middleweight world champion Gennady Golovkin and even a rebooking of the Conor Benn fight.
However, those plans will be put on hold as the former British middleweight champion looks to pick up the pieces in their second encounter.
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