Eubank: Smith stoppage ‘not conclusive’ | ‘A freak accident!’

Chris Eubank Jr’s stoppage loss to Liam Smith in January looked devastating.

Smith stunned him, dropped him, hammered Eubank over a second time and the referee stepped in to prevent any further punishment.

But that’s not how Eubank interprets events.

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Watch unseen footage of Liam Smith’s sensational stoppage victory over Chris Eubank Jr in Manchester

“I’ve heard people say it was a conclusive victory. No it wasn’t. It wasn’t conclusive. ‘He beat Eubank up, he outclassed him.’ No. He got his head boxed off for three rounds and then he caught me slipping in the fourth,” Eubank Jr told Sky Sports.

“There’s nothing conclusive about a man standing up and telling the referee let me continue and the referee waves it off while I’m on my feet ready to go.

“That’s not conclusive at all and that’s why I’m still a favourite in the bookies, even after a loss. There’s a reason for that.”

Eubank had looked badly hurt. Before the referee ended the bout his then trainer Roy Jones was poised to throw in the towel to pull Eubank out too.

Eubank though is adamant that he wanted more time to try to get through that crisis.

“I know how to get through pain. I know how to recover from being buzzed and I feel like that second – I’m not going to call it a knockdown because he didn’t land anything clean – I kind of fell over. Because I’m still trying to get my sense back but I felt like I was just starting to come back,” he insisted.

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Smith will go head-to-head on The Gloves Are Off

“I got back up the second time very quickly and I said ‘let me keep going’. At that moment in time I was feeling myself coming back round. So that’s why I say I feel like I was robbed of the opportunity to get through it. I’m not a vulnerable guy, I’m not a vulnerable fighter. I’m a grizzled veteran.

“If I get hurt, let me try and get through it. I don’t need somebody waving it off to save me from myself.

“I’ve trained my whole life for brutality. I’ve trained my whole life to deal with punishment, to absorb punishment, to get through horrible situations.”

It is possible he bounded up from the canvas too quickly to reorientate himself.

“It was probably a combination of pride and not wanting him or people to think that he hurt me,” Eubank said.

“I wanted to show the ref I was ready to go. And also it was that mixed with the fact that I’ve never been down before. So I haven’t practised taking a knee and looking up at the referee and waiting for him to count to nine so I can get up. That’s just not in me.”

He has that experience now going into their September 2 rematch, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Sky Sports News’ Eleanor Roper and John Dennen reflect on the first press conference for Smith v Eubank II

“It was new territory. Now I’ve been there and done it. Now I have the experience of knowing maybe what to do to alleviate that pressure if it ever happens,” Eubank said.

“But obviously my job is to make sure it never does.”

His confidence and self-belief are seemingly undiminished ahead of the rematch.

“I don’t like to use that word ‘beat’ me because he didn’t beat me. He didn’t beat me up,” Eubank declared.

“He caught me and the fight was over in a split second. That to me doesn’t justify saying he’s a better fighter than me or that he beat me up.

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Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr face-off ahead of their rematch in Manchester live on Sky Sports Box Office!

“I got caught. I got blindsided. It was a flash knockdown. There was no punishment there. He didn’t lay a hand on me until that moment.

“There was no pain involved. There was no hardship. I didn’t have to grit down and bite down on my gumshield and get through a tough time,” he added.

“One minute I’m winning the fight, the next minute the referee’s waving it off. So no, it was a freak accident in my opinion. That is the best way that I can describe it.”

Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr 2 is live on Sky Sports Box Office on Saturday September 2. Book it now.

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