Chris Eubank Jr. overwhelms Liam Smith to 10th-round TKO, evens score with domestic rival
Chris Eubank Jr. outworked, outclassed and overwhelmed Liam Smith to a 10th-round technical knockout conclusion to their rematch on Saturday at Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, the site of their first fight in January which ended with Eubank being upset by the 35-year-old veteran via fourth-round stoppage.
Eubank (33-3, 23 KOs), The Ring’s No. 9-rated middleweight, set the pace and assumed control from the opening bell, soundly outworking Smith (33-4-1, 20), who was admittedly “flat” and was unable to match his rival’s punch output.
Eubank, who had been preparing for a high-profile catchweight showdown with Conor Benn (canceled when his fellow legacy son tested positive for a PED) prior to the first bout vs. Smith, scored a knockdown 45 seconds into Round 4 and continued to rake the former 154-pound titleholder with an assortment of uppercuts, body shots, hooks and stiff jabs until the fight was mercifully waved off at the 1:45 mark of Round 10.
Smith, The Ring’s No. 4-rated middleweight, was forced to the ropes at the start of Round 10 and looked helpless under Eubank’s barrage. He complained about the stoppage but later admitted that he’d put too much weight on after suffering an ankle injury during camp and was effectively dead in the water on fight night.
Eubank, who could have used a similar excuse for his loss to Smith, did not take the bait during his post-fight interview with Sky Sports.
“What happened tonight was supposed to happen in January, but it wasn’t my night,” said Eubank, who switched trainers — from Roy Jones Jr. to Brian McIntyre — for the Smith rematch. “My weight had nothing to do with it, my mindset had nothing to do with it.
“I had no other choice (but to win the rematch), there are too many big fights out there that I want that the fans want to see me in. I had to beat him. I respect him, he always gives his all, he was there until the end.
“I’m coming for Conor, I’m coming for you, Kell (Brook). I wanna fight GGG. Wherever you are, you’ve been holding those belts too long, I want to take one.”