Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr will rematch on June 17 at the AO Arena in Manchester, headlining a Sky Sports Box Office event.
The pair fought on January 21 at the very same arena in a middleweight contest that lasted all but four rounds.
Smith – the betting underdog – swarmed Eubank in the fourth, backing him into the corner and connecting with uppercuts and hooks that floored the Brighton man.
Eubank rose, valiantly, but his legs weren’t there. He was knocked down again quickly and, despite once more trying to fight on, referee Victor Loughlin had rightly called a halt to it.
In the aftermath, Eubank’s team would claim that an elbow from Smith contributed significantly to the stoppage.
The announcement of their second fight comes after Eubank activated his rematch clause but then seemed to have second thoughts. A fight with Conor Benn reportedly tempted him in the interim, but he has now made his intentions clear.
Eubank and Smith were recently fined by the British Boxing Board of Control – a charge stemming from pre-fight press conference goading gone too far. The build-up is likely to be similar this time around, but it’s hard to think that Eubank’s confidence won’t be knocked at all.
His chin was, for years, regarded as up there with some of the best in the business until Smith cracked it with a flurry of shots. The Liverpool man will be aiming to do the same again before moving onto his next challenge, which is, at 34-years-old, ideally a world title shot
It means there’s plenty at stake for Eubank Jr, 33. He’s fallen short before – Smith was his third defeat – but an immediate rematch brings with it a whole new set of pressure and consequences.