Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr met in London today at the official pre-fight press conference to formally announce their Saturday July 1sth rematch in Manchester this summer.
The two exchanged frank opinions both about their January encounter – which Smith won by fourth-round stoppage – and the upcoming rematch, which Smith feels will go the same way.
Joining the middleweights at today’s press conference were female super-middleweights Savannah Marshall and her old amateur rival in Franchon Crews-Dezurn, who is now the undisputed world champion at the weight class.
Their co-headline bout will be for the undisputed world championship, with Marshall taking an immediate shot the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO world titles – and marks Marshall’s return to her former weight class, where she was previously Intercontinental champion before moving up to middleweight for her world title reign.
The event takes place at the AO Arena Manchester on July 1st and airs live and exclusively in the UK and Ireland as a Sky Sports Box Office, with pricing to be announced by Sky in the near future.
Here’s what the fighters had to say today:
On Eubank’s claims that he wanted the January fight to continue: “Any other fighter gets stopped after that first knockdown.”
“It all happened to him on one night, everything he thought couldn’t happen to him, everything Chris prides himself on not happening, happened to him on one night – and I did it to him.
“I knew I was a better fighter than Chris. Now I know I can hurt him and hurt him quite handily at 160lbs. Now I’m massively confident.
“To save face he had to take this rematch if he wants to go any further in his career. He’s got a lot of demons to overcome.”
CHRIS EUBANK JR
On the January stoppage: “The thing I regret is not being given the chance to get through it. I wanted to continue. I wanted to see if I could overcome that adversity and I feel like I was robbed of that challenge.
“This is what we sign up for. We signed up to get hurt. We sign up for the possibility of receiving punishment.
“If a beating was what I was going to take if the fight had been left to go longer, then great, that’s what I deserve. I would have accepted that. I would have enjoyed that.
“In my opinion, he didn’t stop me, the referee stopped me. In a sense we both got robbed there.
“I’m a grizzled veteran in the sport, I know how much I can take, I know when I can’t go on. I was buzzed but I knew what was going on.”
“She gave a valiant fight in October [against Shields] but it might not be the same, it’s going to be a little worse this time. We’re here right now and I’m telling you July 1s is going to be fun for me. There are some things in boxing you can’t teach.”
“There’s no weight cutting, no being drained for fights so I think this weight will suit me a lot better. I believe I’m at world level and if I can’t mix it with the likes of Franchon what good am I in boxing?
“Our styles have changed to suit the pros. I’m no mug, I’m not overlooking her. It’s going to be a hard night’s work. She’s a tough, rugged, very experienced fighter but I believe I beat her.”