Home Boxing News Chris Eubank Jr: “I felt like I could go on”

Chris Eubank Jr: “I felt like I could go on”

Chris Eubank Jr on the canvas after being dropped by Liam Smith. Photo credit: Lawrence Lustig

The career of Chris Eubank Jr 32-3 (23) hangs in the balance after he was knocked out in the fourth round of his middleweight bout by Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith 33-3-1 (20) at the AO Arena in Manchester, England on Saturday night.

The 34-year-old Smith, who once held the WBO junior middleweight title, had Eubank down twice early in the fourth before the bout was waved off. It was the first time Eubank had been stopped in his 35-fight pro career.

The nature of the loss has seen calls from certain quarters for Eubank to hang up the gloves, but the 33-year-old is having none of it.

“A tough night? No I wouldn’t even say that, I was having fun, I was landing my shots, I was enjoying the moment,” Eubank told Sky Sports in his dressing room post-fight.

“And he caught me with a once-in-a-lifetime shot. I got up, I recovered, he put it on me again with a few more shots and the referee decided it was enough. I felt like I could go on. I felt like I was aware of what was happening, but it was the referee’s decision and I have to respect it.

“I felt like I was dominating the fight before that happened, so I think we’ve got an exciting opportunity, at some point in the future, to have that rematch.

“Listen, it’s boxing, it’s a sexy sport, this is the sport we love. Anything can happen. I never would have believed this could happen.

“I think a lot of people didn’t see this happening and it happened, but that’s okay. I’m okay with it. It’s part of the journey and I’ve still got a lot left so we’ll see what happens later on in the year. He had good hand speed, but it was that one sequence of shots. He threw a bunch of shots and one of them landed and it dazed me. I felt before that I was in control of the fight.

“That third round I was picking my shots and – no disrespect – but every dog has its day. This was Liam’s night and I respect him. There’s losing a fight and losing a fight. I was dominating the fight and then I got caught, so to me I’m still able to perform and in my mind I’m still the better fighter.

“Obviously I don’t have much of an argument after a loss, but I have an argument to prove I’m the better fighter. It was a shot that landed and it’s a fight I think the fans will still want to see further down the line.”

Eubank, who has previously campaigned at super middleweight, had a rematch clause built into his contract.

Sky Sports pundit and retired former world champion Carl Froch said the future is up in the air for Eubank.

“I don’t know how he’s done the weight or if it’s a problem for him, but at 33 years old, middleweight may not be for him. Where does he go from here? That could be curtains on his career. I don’t want to say he should retire now. It was a bad defeat,” Froch said to Sky Sports.

“Where does he go now? Middleweight or super middleweight? Regardless of the weight, I don’t think we should take away from what a magnificent performance it was from Liam Smith.

“He took his time from round one, he won round one and round two on my card, bit of a bad round three. Liam Smith, I thought he had a great start and he was landing more punches and he was putting Chris Eubank on his back foot and controlling and dictating the pace round the ring. Then when he started to land shots, it was fight over.”