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Liam Smith pulled off a sensational stoppage of Chris Eubank Jr to wreck his rival’s world title dreams and reignite his hopes of becoming a two-weight champion.
The Liverpool fighter ripped up the script to floor Eubank Jnr twice in the fourth round. Eubank Jr beat the count both times but referee Victor Loughlin waved the fight off to spark wild scenes of celebration inside Manchester Arena.
The Brighton boxer was furious with the official but the ring was soon swarmed by Smith’s overjoyed corner and family. It was an incredible performance from Smith, the former WBO light-middleweight champion, who was making his debut at 160lbs
Read More: David Haye's outfit for Eubank Jr vs Liam Smith fight has fans branding him a 'helmet'
It was an incredible performance from Smith, the former WBO light-middleweight champion, who was making his debut at 160lbs. But he proved he has what it takes as he became the first man to ever floor and stop Eubank Jr.
It came after a big left uppercut wobbled Eubank Jr and a cuffing right sent him over. Smith pounced to finish him off and settle a rivalry when he put him down again.
Eubank Jr has a rematch clause in the contract but it remains to be seen if he will want to trigger it after this. Smith, 34, breathed new life into his career to show he can be a force at middleweight after he roared to victory.
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Eubank Jr’s own dreams of becoming a world champion look in tatters after the third defeat of his career at 33. The atmosphere was fizzing as the full arena awaited the two fighters to enter.
Smith’s welcome showed the Scousers had taken over Manchester Arena. Eubank Jr maintained his pantomime villain persona as he was roundly booed by the pro-Liverpool crowd on his arrival.
Smith – roared on by his army of fans – started on the front foot and his jab proved to be sharper than his opponent’s. ‘Beefy’ also had joy to the body as Eubank sat off him, but wasn’t clinical enough with his counters.
Eubank Jr loaded up with some bigger shots in the second but the head movement from Smith made it hard for him to land. Smith, a former world champion at light-middleweight, appeared to be dealing well with the move up to middleweight to face the bigger man.
Eubank had some real success in the third as he landed three big uppercuts in succession that pierced through Smith’s tight guard which had served him well until that point. But it would not deter the fiery Scouser.
Smith and Eubank Jr brought the sport back into the gutter with a tawdry press conference on Thursday.
It will most certainly land Smith in hot water with the British Boxing Board of Control after Sky were forced to apologise for ‘homophobic remarks’.
But when they let their fists do the talking it was a reminder how good this sport can be.
Smith ensured there was no controversy in the ring with a remarkable finish.
The left uppercut brought up a big swelling under Eubank Jr’s right eye and ‘Beefy’ finished the job in ruthless fashion.
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- Chris Eubank Jr
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