Chris Eubank Jr previews fight with Liam Smith
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Chris Eubank Jr may not rematch Liam Smith next as expected. His trainer Roy Jones Jr has instead teased a move up in weight for his next bout after being stopped by the Liverpudlian in the fourth round of their middleweight contest.
All indications are that Eubank Jr wants to fight Smith a second time but that he may have a filler fight during the interim at around 165lb. “He definitely wants the rematch clause – I’m not sure if we’re gonna take it next, but he definitely wants it,” Jones Jr told Boxing UK. “I don’t think that the weight was the issue, but you can never tell.
“We have got to have a look at him [Eubank] and see. That is why we might have to go back, fight a fight at 164/165lbs, see how he looks, and we will see what happens.”
Eubank Jr has roughly two more weeks to activate the rematch clause in their contract and says he is open to staging the make-or-break clash at Anfield, in Smith’s home city of Liverpool. Post-fight, Next Gen seemed keen to run it back with Smith and put the loss down to a ‘once in a lifetime punch’ from his adversary.
Theories have circulated among some that the Brighton boxer’s career lowest weight cut for his cancelled contest with Conor Benn may have had an impact. Meanwhile, Eubank Jr’s team are also considering an appeal to the British Boxing Board of Control about an alleged ‘illegal elbow’ that landed during one of the final sequences of the fight.
But Smith has laughed off the accusations. “They are clutching at straws,” he told Sky Sports. “As much as it might be a shock for people to see Chris sitting on his backside like that, just take it on the chin.
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“You lost, you got stopped, come back from it. Nobody believes you. You’re embarrassing yourself. Go file your complaint by all means.
“If that’s the case, just take the rematch. What are you waiting for? You’ve got three or four weeks to activate the rematch clause. If it was caused by an elbow, go ahead and activate it and let’s move on.”
Speaking about the excuses that Eubank Jr was too drained at the weight, Smith continued: “People are forgetting I fought him at 160lbs. He came in at 159lbs. If he’s struggling that bad, come in at 160lbs. A pound is a lot when you’re tight at the weight. A pound is an awful lot. You’re not stupid. Why give away an extra pound?
“I fought him at his weight. I didn’t drag him to no catchweight. I fought Chris at Chris’ natural best weight, 160lbs. I’m not a 160lber, I’m a 154. I’ve had two fights at 159lbs my whole career. Let’s not beat around the bush. I fought Chris at Chris’ [hoped for] world-title weight.”
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