Smith urges Eubank Jnr to swerve rematch following brutal stoppage

Liam Smith urges Chris Eubank Jnr to swerve rematch after brutal fourth-round stoppage, with Liverpool fighter eyeing another British blockbuster against former world champion Kell Brook

  • Chris Eubank Jr was stunned by Liam Smith at the AO Arena in Manchester
  • The middleweight was handed a first-ever stoppage loss in a shocking result
  • Eubank tweeted his intention to trigger a clause in his contract for a rematch
  • Smith played Sunday League football in Liverpool just hours after his victory

The devastating resolution of the bitterest of British grudge fights came out of the blue here in Manchester.

It was delivered as a lightning bolt from the red half of Liverpool by the man who is, now, the chieftain of a Mersey clan of warriors.

So swift and shocking that nobody saw it coming. Least of all Chris Eubank Jr.

Chris Eubank Jr (left) was destroyed by Liam Smith (right) in Manchester on Saturday

No-one that is except Liam Smith, the second youngest of the family of four fighting brothers, who glimpsed a fleeting opportunity and pounced on his arch-rival like a ravenous tiger devouring a hyena who had dared to mock him.

One minute Eubank was unloading a series of right uppercuts. A split second later he was down and on his way to reeling out of world title contention.

Those aspirations had been savagely transferred on to Smith’s pale shoulders. The ugly insults and self-demeaning smears of the nasty week that was were buried in the rubble of Junior’s brutal fall from grace.

The only plausible way back to the top for the celebrity son a legendary father would appear to be via rematch. Deep into the the small hours Eubank tweeted from a depressed dressing room his intention to trigger a clause in his contract to that effect.

The Liverpudlian knocked Eubank Jr down twice in the fourth round before it was waved off

Smith is ready and willing to inflict another dose of punishment but wonders if it will be necessary, saying: ‘Chris was texting out of pride and a bruised ego. Give him time to mull it over.’

Eubank left the building with his right cheek swollen into a gargoyle, which hinted at bone fracture. The several weeks that will take to heal may allow for wiser counsel. Perhaps from Chris Senior, who has congratulated Smith on being the first opponent to make his boy crumble.

There are of course more riches to be harvested from a rehash. All the more so since Smith hinted that his loftiest ambition is to fight on the hallowed Anfield turf of his beloved football club ‘against anyone.’

That could just as easily be in another Brit- buster, against Kell Brook who is offering to come out of retirement for a bonus pay day.

Eubank Jr has the option of activating a rematch clause – which he says he intends to do 

Eubank could take the softer option of waiting for a smaller drug-free Conor Benn to come out of dope test purgatory and then transfer their controversially cancelled Fight For The Fathers to the even more enriching oil lands of the Middle East.

But he does need to reflect further on the abject condition to which he was reduced in the fourth and fateful round in Manchester.

This was Saturday evening in the AO Arena but Eubank lurch, staggered and stumbled as semi-conscious as the Friday night drunks who sprawl in the gutters of our cities.

There was no foreboding of the disaster ahead as he took an early lead in the fight, moving into apparent ascendancy with that barrage of right uppercuts.

But just one such punch, from Smith’s left-hand, sent him crashing to the canvas.

Smith is ready to inflict another dose of punishment but wonders if it will be necessary 

Manchester is infamous for its rain but Eubank was lost in a dense fog as he climbed upright by instinct alone.

It should have been stopped by the referee then and there as he wobbled, glassy-eyed, around the ring but Victor Loughlin sent him back into the firing line

He staggered blindly into a hail of blows, climaxed by a vicious right hook which dropped him again.

There was much courage in the attempt to rise once more but now Loughlin was ready to show mercy.

Whether it came soon enough to save Eubank’s career remains to be seen. 

Smith, however, is in paradise regained.

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