Eubank Jr told to change weight after looking like 'a crackhead' for Smith fight

Chris Eubank Jr will get knocked out again unless he pushes for his rematch against Liam Smith to take place at a different weight, warns former world champion Johnny Nelson.

The Brighton fighter was stopped in spectacular fashion in Manchester in January with Smith flooring his rival in the fourth round before the contest was waved off.

The bitter feud will continue with Eubank Jr confirming on Tuesday he has triggered a rematch clause with May a possible date for their second meeting.

Smith, a former world champion at light-middleweight, was the man who left his comfort zone to move up and fight at middleweight for that first showdown just under four weeks ago. But the manner in which Eubank Jr was taken apart that night has prompted fears his days campaigning at 160lbs are over.

Last year, his father and British boxing legend Chris Eubank Snr shared his grave concerns over his son shedding weight ahead of the doomed showdown with Conor Benn which was scheduled to be fought at a catchweight on 157lbs.

While Eubank Jr is a seasoned veteran at middleweight, Nelson fears the 33-year-old is no longer able to operate effectively there, believing he was left resembling a ‘crackhead’ when he stepped on the scales for the final weigh-in ahead of the first Smith fight after a draining weight-cut.

And the former cruiserweight champion believes that unless the weight is changed, Eubank Jr will suffer exactly the same fate, adding he is defying his father’s concerns which have led to a falling out between the pair.

‘Chris can do it [make the middleweight limit] but he can’t box to the ability he thinks he has there,’ Nelson told

‘And his dad has been telling him that. Tellingly, that’s why his dad hasn’t been in his corner and I’m hearing there has been a fallout because his dad is telling him something he doesn’t want to hear.

‘Maybe down the line in 10 years’ time, Chris will say, I wanted to do it my way and I had to learn the hard way. He is an intelligent young man but he has got to think, why did that happen?

‘Do you think he really believes it was an elbow [from Smith] that had that effect? Do you think he really believes it was a punch in a million that affected him that way? Because in sparring, we all get hit, by elbows, by shoulders, but the reaction isn’t the same.

‘Chris, as an intelligent young man, I think he understands that. So Chris now has the intelligence to know he has to get this weigh up. Because right now, he knows at that weight, he gets knocked out.

He continued: ‘When he got on the scales the day before the fight, I looked at him, he had his tracksuit on and his eye were sunken and his cheeks were sunken. I know it sounds but bad I thought, “he look like a crackhead”.

‘He looked drawn, washed out. Common sense didn’t get kick in. If Chris tries to outbox him he loses. The only thing Chris can change with hope of winning is the weight.’

Eubank Jr last fought at super-middleweight in 2019, defending his IBO title against James DeGale before returning to middleweight to chase world honours.

After the damaging defeat, the third of his career and one that derailed hopes of a world title challenge against Gennady Golovkin, Nelson believes Eubank Jr has had no choice but to trigger the rematch option in order to salvage his reputation despite the risks involved.

But with the weight ‘the most fundamental factor’ as far as far as the rematch is concerned, Nelson insists Eubank Jr and his team must push for it to take place under different terms.

‘Chris is in a situation where he has no other option,’ he said. ‘He has lost on a massive scale in a massive fashion. The problem now is he has got to get his reputation back. He can’t move on to do anything else in boxing until he fights Liam Smith again.

‘But the weight is the fundamental factor. You can get anyone down to six stone and you might look brilliant but you wouldn’t be able to tie your shoes or string a sentence together.

‘Chris was in a position where his body does allow him to get down to that weight, he can get there. But the problem is he can’t perform to the best of his ability there in such a dangerous sport.

‘When he boxed Liam, the second he got touched with a clean shot he fell to pieces. We have never seen him affected like that he has boxed some names, he has boxed some bigger punchers. That narrows down to him getting down to weight and it affects his resistance.

‘You can’t do that with your body as a fighter as it is the only place where you can legally get killed. It is the only place where you have to protect yourself to the best of your ability, you have got to be a in position where you can fight your own corner and defend yourself. If you can’t, you will get found out like Chris did.

‘If the rematch is exactly the same conditions, it is going to be the same result.’

Johnny Nelson is an ambassador of Natural Sports

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