By Jake Tiernan: Liam Smith revealed that he was weak & flat in his tenth round TKO loss to Chris Eubank Jr. last Saturday night from a 42-lb weight cut during camp and an ankle injury he sustained during the contest.
Smith stated afterward that he felt like his mobility was also hampered because of his left ankle problem.
The 35-year-old Smith (33-4-1, 20 KOs) looked like a shell of the fighter he’d been in the first fight with Eubank Jr. (33-3, 24 KOs), unable to pull the trigger on his punches and incapable of fighting through the clinching that was being done to keep him bottled up.
Smith says he’d suffered a back injury and couldn’t train before camp, and put on a lot of weight that he had to take off while getting ready for the rematch rapidly.
Dealing with the injury in camp while trying to take the 42 lbs off made Smith’s job that much harder, putting him in a near-impossible situation to try and win.
“I feel the weight killed me. I cut 42 pounds,” said Liam Smith at the post-fight press conference, trying to explain why he was so weak and unable to pull the trigger on his punches.
Cutting weight is never easy for a fighter, but it’s doubly hard when they’re injured & old like Smith. With an older fighter, they need to be in shape and injury-free when they begin camp to take on a younger guy.
Granted, Eubank Jr. isn’t young either, but he’s a couple of years younger than Smith, and he hasn’t had the hard fights that he’s had.
Does Eubank Jr. deserve world title shot?
“Not a lot of people thought he could go in three and dominate the way he dominated from the opening bell,” said Spencer Oliver to Boxing King Media, raving about Chris Eubank Jr. about his win over Liam Smith.
“That was a superb performance. He had demons going into this one. You know how conclusive the first fight was. That was a career-best performance. Chris deserves a world title shot off the back of that.”
One would be hard-pressed to say that Eubank Jr. deserves a world titlee shot, given how old, feeble & poor Liam Smith looked last Saturday night. To deserve a title shot, Eubank Jr. should prove that he can beat a true contender like Danny Garcia or Austin Williams.
Oliver doesn’t say who Eubank Jr should fight for a world title. There are several of the middleweight champions that would be a pure nightmare for Eubank Jr., and he would need a minor miracle to escape being knocked out like he was in his first fight with Smith.
Eubank Jr’s options to fight for world title at 160:
- Jermall Charlo
- Carlos Adames
- Janibek Alimkhanuly
- Erislandy Lara
- Vincenzo Gualtieri
“The uppercut was key. Was it the fifth round? He got the knockdown with the uppercut. Liam Smith’s legs were all over the place in a number of rounds. He kept flipping the legs out. There was something wrong there.
Should there be an Eubank Jr-Smith trilogy?
“I’d see it definitely,” said Spencer. “Fair play to Liam Smith. He gave Chris the opportunity in the second fight. So let’s see it again for the third time because you don’t know with these two how it would turn out. Look at fight #1 and fight #2. Two totally different fights.
“Listen, there’s fights out there for him. There are opportunities for him. Let’s see what Conor Benn does. Let’s see if he can sort his situation out. Get that cleared up first.
“Kell Brook wants to come back. That’s a great fight out there for him as well. There are big fights out there for him. Whatever Chris decides to do,” said Oliver.