The rematch between British middleweights Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr is officially on for September 2 in Manchester, and the boxing world is starting to make predictions.
The first fight back in January ended with a knockout win for Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith in the fourth round.
Many fans were surprised to see Jr down and so quickly out for the first time in his career given he has gone the distance with world-level fighters such as George Groves, and was heralded for a granite chin
Jr’s team claimed Smith used an illegal elbow in the series of punches that ultimately lead to the knockout, though nothing came of the claims and Smith laughed them off as excuses.
Speaking to Boxing King Media, Hall of Fame fighter turned manager, Barry McGuigan, was asked if Eubank can avenge the loss.
“Not by the way he was beaten in the last fight, you know. He was categorically destroyed. He was broken up and knocked out. He looked vulnerable. He looked like he’d been down on the weight for too long. It didn’t look like he had really rehydrated before the fight.
It just looked like he wasn’t strong. The bottom line was Smith make him look like that, he made it look easy. I don’t see there being a change in the result. It might take a bit longer this time but ultimately Smith will win again.”
Having picked Eubank Jr the first time around, McGuigan explains why he thinks the Brighton man came up short – his weight drain for the previously scheduled Conor Benn fight.
“He looked dry. He looked vulnerable. As a fighter I can look at guys and know they look really skinny and look down on the weight. He stayed there too long.
There was the fight with [Conor] Benn that fell through and of course there was talk of him going down to 154 and can you imagine what he would have looked like at 154 instead of 160? I don’t see a change in the result this time. [Smith] wins by stoppage.”
Eubank opted for the Smith rematch after reportedly considering an attempt to re-organise his doomed fight with Benn.
There is still plenty of talk that they will renew the rivalries of their fathers’ if and when Benn is cleared of any wrongdoing in his doping case.
Fans will see a victory against Smith as a must to keep any intrigue alive. As for the loser come fight night, there’s already talk of retirement.