Can Chris Eubank Jr get revenge on Liam Smith or does Smith prove it wasn’t just a lucky upset the first time?
Speaking exclusively to Sporting Post, boxing legend Roy Jones Jr claimed Eubank Jr reveals some gruelling details from the first fight camp for Liam Smith, stating:
- Chris Eubank was complacent and refused to listen to me in the lead up to first Liam Smith fight
- The Conor Benn weight drained Eubank significantly, and looked very unstable during the fight
- Chris Eubank needs to meet Liam Smith head on to beat him on Saturday
Chris Eubank was complacent and refused to listen to me in the lead up to first Liam Smith fight
“I think complacency was a factor going into that fight. It affected his training completely because usually he would listen to what I’d tell him to do. But during that training camp there were several times where he’d question me, or if I’d tell him something, he’d beg to differ.”
“When they start to question you they either don’t believe you, or they’re second guessing what you’re saying, so if you’re second guessing what i’m saying, you should go with someone you believe, so I’m glad he’s gone with Bomac.
“Bomac is fresh to him and maybe he can develop some faith in Bomac, because one day during training for the Smith fight, a sparring partner threw a headshot and Chris went to protect his body and tried to [dodge] the head shot off. I told him “it’s better to protect the head shot than the body shot”‘ and he told me that he “begged to differ”. I’m the pound for pound greatest fighter of all time saying that, but I said “ok” because I’ve never seen Chris hurt and I’ve never seen him down, so you can’t argue with that. But when you start saying things like that, to me it means you’re losing confidence in what I’m telling you.”
“I think he lost faith in me. I don’t why, but when he started questioning me, to me that’s an immediate sign you don’t believe what I’m telling you. All because you’ve not been knocked down before, you’re questioning what I’m saying. I don’t care if you’ve not been knocked down before, a shot to the body isn’t going to leave a cut on your stomach. Nobody will get cut from a body shot, but a head shot can leave you cut, so I was talking from experience, but when you question that, then it puts a little bit of a damper on things.”
“But now you’ve been down, you can’t argue with me now. Because now you understand why I said it. Sometimes when you get complacent, people don’t heed advice. I think he thought Smith would be a little bit easier than it turned out to be.”
The Conor Benn weight drained Eubank significantly, and looked very unstable during the fight
“The weight cut that Eubank went through for Conor Benn was very, very draining for him. I don’t think it was the total weight cut that was the problem, but it was just the last few pounds. Because when Chris jumped into the ring with Smith, I thought his legs looked very unstable, so I was a bit worried about it, because of the way he took the last few pounds, to me, it wasn’t very good for him. I didn’t like the way he looked, he looked fine in camp up to that point.”
“The last few pounds caused him a lot of trouble, he had not been down there in a while, but that fight never took place, so we don’t know how he would have performed. But sometimes you don’t look good and still do ok.”
“The weight cut could have affected it [punch resistance against Smith] but he also caught an elbow right before he got caught with the right hand. The elbow caused the eye to swell up bad, it was not the right hand. The elbow definitely had an impact on what happened after that. It wasn’t intentional but it made it tough, without the elbow he would have taken the right hand better.”
“He wasn’t necessarily hollow against Smith, but he had been through an extensive training camp for Benn and I think he didn’t get a chance to take a proper break between camps and I think that wore on him a little bit. And it wore on him a way that he could save himself for the fight, but maybe he saved himself a little too much.”
Chris Eubank needs to meet Liam Smith head on to beat him on Saturday
“Chris knows what he has to do in this fight, he knows what he has to do, and he knew after the fight with Liam what he should have done. Hopefully he will listen to Bomac, and hopefully Bomac will get it across to him that you have to go out there and make it a fight and you can’t be moving around and boxing because Liam’s a straightforward guy who is going to bring it to you. You have to deal with it, or he’s going to run over you. He’s going to keep coming at you all night, so hopefully this time he will meet him head on and see what happens.”
“To me the most significant factor in Eubank’s performance against Smith was Chris being up here [motivated] to fight Benn – and then got pulled down to no fight – and then he met a better fighter than Benn in Liam Smith – but at a lower level of expectancy, because the Benn-Eubank rivalry was so big. When it became Liam Smith instead, it kind of took away from the hype. And Smith was more dangerous than Benn because of the size difference.”
“I think he wins the fight. When I got to camp last time I told him you don’t need me for this fight and that might have been a mistake. And maybe that’s why he started second guessing me. Because I didn’t feel that he needed me for the fight because it would have been better to fight Smith the old Chris Eubank way. You don’t need to box Smith, you need to go out there and fight. You don’t need me for this, you need you for this. You need to be the old Eubank and get down, right, dirty and fight. That’s what my instructions were on day one. The boxing that Roy taught him, that he was adapting to very well, was not what he needed to fight Smith. You can’t box Liam Smith if you haven’t been a boxer your whole career. Even Canelo boxed for a little while, then met him head on. I never thought Liam could hurt Chris, which tells me the elbow had a lot to do with it, so if he meets him head on, he’s the bigger stronger fighter.”
“I got highly criticised for the way he fought but he didn’t fight the way I told him to fight.”
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.