Conor Benn wasn’t impressed with the performance from Chris Eubank Jr. (33-3, 24 KOs) tonight, and he attributes his tenth round knockout win over Liam Smith to his fighting with an injured ankle at the AO Arena in Manchester.
Referee Kevin Parker pulled Smith out of the fight in the tenth round after Eubank Jr. machine-gunned him with his back against the ropes. The fight was stopped at 1:45 of the tenth.
Smith (33-4-1, 20 KOs) revealed after the contest that he’d turned his ankle, and you could see that he was fighting with an injury from the fourth. Eubank Jr. took advantage of the situation, knocking the former WBO 154-lb champion down in rounds fourth and tenth round.
Benn says he’s fighting on September 23rd and wants to battle Eubank Jr. That fight would obviously need to occur later this year or in 2024.
It’s likely that Eubank Jr. will face retired Kell Brook next unless his management can lure Gennadiy Golovkin back. Getting Golovkin to agree to the fight could prove to be next to impossible because he’s gotten used to being paid big money for his fights with Canelo Alvarez and his bouts on DAZN.
Eubank Jr. made it ugly with his John Ruiz-esque punch-and-grab style, and it was only after Liam Smith turned his ankle in the fourth round that he started looking good.
The test of whether Eubank Jr. is for real or just a guy who took advantage of an old, injured Liam Smith is if he fought one of the killers:
- Janibek Alimkhanuly
- Carlos Adames
- Erislandy Lara
- Diego Pacheco
- Caleb Plant
- David Morrell Jr.
- David Benavidez
Liam Smith fought with injured ankle
“He didn’t look great.. Smith made him look good. It takes you ten rounds to dispatch someone that has a broken leg or two?” said Conor Benn to Fight Hub TV, reacting to Chris Eubank Jr’s tenth round knockout win over Liam Smith, who was fighting with an injured right ankle tonight.
“I’m not really impressed. The game plan [for Eubank Jr.] was to tie him up, get his work up, and tie him up, and he stuck with his game plan.
“Eubank, let’s get on with unfinished business. I wasn’t impressed tonight. You could definitely see that it was an injury. That’s what it was. I’m not impressed with Eubank at all. 100%.
“You could tell Smith wasn’t himself. You could tell the shots weren’t coming off. He wasn’t able to get out of the way of the shots, and that’s all that it was. I don’t think it was an impressive performance.
“If you have a wounded player in there, take hold of them and get them out of there. It would go one way,” said Benn when asked what he’d have done if he were fighting Eubank Jr.
“If I have someone injured in front of me, who can’t throw back, they ain’t seeing the end of the round. That’s it, period. Injuries happen in a fight, and that’s the only way I believe Eubank won the fight.
“Smith made him look good tonight. Yeah, I believe Smith deserves a rematch. I beat him in four. I put it on him straight away. Obviously, Smith was injured in there. He didn’t look himself, but it’s a credit to him. He won the fight. He stuck to the game plan, threw his shots, tied him up in close, and that was it.
“We could do that next [Eubank Jr. fight], no problem. If the public wants it, I’ll come up to 160, no problem. 154, 147, 160, I’ll come up. No problem, I’ll come up.
“It curtains for him after four rounds. No cap. 100%, I’ll get him done before the end of the year.
“September 23rd, that’s the plan,” said Conor when asked about his next fight,” said Benn.