Chris Eubank Jr has named three British boxers that he believes quit when they could have fought on.
Eubank was handed his first stoppage loss this January, a fourth-round blitz by Liam Smith leaving him dazed and with no legs beneath him.
In the aftermath, the Brighton boxer said the referee should have let him fight on, and criticised his then trainer, Roy Jones Jr, for having the towel in his hand ready to throw in.
Ahead of their rematch, Eubank told new coach Brain ‘BoMac’ McIntyre to leave the towel at home. Such a decision wasn’t necessary, as he dominated and stopped a laboured Smith in the ninth round, getting revenge and reinvigorating a career on the ropes.
In an interview with IFL TV, Eubank praised Smith for fighting on regardless of the way the contest was going – an attitude he says not everyone has in them.
“I respected that. His team didn’t throw in the towel even though he was losing every round. He stayed in there. He took his beating like a man – and a lot of fighters these days it seems they’re not willing to do that.
If the fight isn’t going their way, if they get hurt, there’s a point where they’re like ‘oh wow, this isn’t supposed to be happening, the game plan isn’t working, I’m done. Get me out of here.'”
He went on to name three UK fighters – Billy Joe Saunders, Daniel Dubois and Dave Allen – as examples of quitting.
“Saunders did it. Dubois did it. A lot of fighters have done it. A guy did it on the same night on the undercard. The White Rhino [Dave Allen] quit on his stool.
People get upset – ‘oh you shouldn’t say that.’ Listen, I’m a fighter, I can say what I want. I get in there and I fight, and I don’t stop. I take a shot. I get up. I’m buzzed and I keep walking forward. Let me keep going. Because I’ve done that I can talk on other guys.
The mentality I had, the mentality Liam had, that’s what true fighters should have.”
Saunders – who has previously beaten Eubank – retired on his stool against Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez in 2021. It was later revealed a well-timed uppercut had broken his eye socket.
Dubois took the knee from a similar injury against Joe Joyce back in 2020, and questions about his heart have been raised again after he stood too late for a count in his championship bout against Oleksandr Usyk.
Fan-favourite Dave Allen was retired from his fight with Frazer Clarke due to a perforated ear drum and jaw issues on the Smith-Eubank undercard.
The ‘quitting’ debate is a contentious one amongst fans, fighters and pundits, with many of the belief that these decisions are often made with a view to fighting another day, whilst others say fighters should ‘go out on their shield’ in big bouts.