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Chris Eubank Jr activates rematch clause for Liam Smith

Image: Chris Eubank Jr activates rematch clause for Liam Smith

By Barry Holbrook: Chris Eubank Jr (32-3, 23 KOs) has finally activated his rematch clause to force a second fight against Liam Smith.

Eubank Jr had little choice but to take the rematch because it would have been impossible for him to move on from his humiliating loss against the former WBO junior middleweight champion Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs).

The rematch is expected to take place in the summer, possibly in July, and there will be a massive amount of interest from boxing fans, given what happened to Eubank Jr in his fourth round blowout against the 34-year ‘Beefy’ Smith last January in Manchester.

Smith dropped 33-year-old Eubank Jr hard in the fourth round after cornering him. Eubank Jr was then knocked down a second time by Smith before the match was waved off by referee Victor Loughlin.

In the aftermath of the fight, Eubank Jr’s team made a big deal about an elbow that Smith hit him with in the sequence that led to his first knockdown in the fourth. However, it was clear that Eubank Jr was getting hammered by Smith, and the elbow played no part in his getting dropped.

“Liam Smith is a rugged, durable fighter. There were nine power punches in the assault that stopped Chris Eubank Jr,” said Gareth A. Davies to iFL TV. “I’ve given my reasons. I thought he [Eubank Jr] was probably weight drained from a bad weight cut against Conor Benn.

“I’m taking nothing away from Liam Smith, I want to emphasize that, but they’re [Team Eubank Jr] looking for reasons now; they’re looking for excuses as to why the hematoma came up. Maybe it was an elbow.

“There’s no way; he’s a rugged, durable fighter, Liam Smith. He wasn’t deliberately trying to hit him with elbows. It’s Chris Eubank Jr’s team looking to get him mentally strong again.

“They’re looking, as the dust settles, to get back into a position of strength into Eubank’s head to give him reasons for why he believes he lost that fight because he’ll be shocked as anyone to lose like that. We haven’t seen that in his career where he’s crumbled, literally. He fell there like clothes being dropped in a suitcase, didn’t he?

“Physically, he went down and crumbled. They’re trying to build him up again. He has to climb the ladder,”  said Davies about Eubank Jr

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