Liam “Beefy” Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs) took advantage of an amateur mistake on the part of Chris Eubank Jr (32-3, 23 KOs), with him backing into the corner, to stop him in the fourth round on Saturday night in a thrilling upset in a middleweight fight at the AO Arena in Manchester, England. The time of the stoppage was at 1:09 of the fourth.
Smith knocked Eubank Jr down twice in the fourth round, leading to the referee Victor Loughlin waving it off. As hurt as Eubank Jr was, there was little chance that he could have stayed up for more than a punch or two. He could no longer defend himself, and Smith was like a locomotive with the way he was fighting.
Eubank Jr was in command of the fight through the first three rounds, but unfortunately for him, it all fell apart when he made a tactical blunder by allowing himself to be backed in the corner by the former WBO junior middleweight champion ‘Beefy’ Smith in the fourth round.
Smith, 34, unloaded a series of hard shots to the head of Eubank Jr, hurting him with an initial right and then dropping him with a left uppercut that put him on his backside.
Unbelievably, when Eubank Jr rose to his feet, his legs were gone, and it was unclear for a second if he was joking around because it seemed difficult to believe that Smith would knock him down because he was effortlessly dominating him through the first three rounds.
Upon the action resuming, Smith tore into the defenseless Eubank Jr, toppling him once again for the second knockdown. This time the referee Victor Loughlin stopped the contest rather than letting Eubank Jr continue to be dropped.
Eubank Jr has a rematch clause in the contract, so we could see a second fight between him and Smith if he wants to try and avenge the loss. It’s likely Eubank Jr will force the rematch because this is the type of defeat that he would have a difficult time walking away from without it negatively impacting his career.
It’s still hard to believe what a huge mistake Eubank Jr made by backing into the corner against Smith. Had Eubank not made that error, he might have continued dominating the fight an cruised to an easy victory because Smith wasn’t in the same league as him.