Chris Eubank Jr admits he was ‘complacent’ in Liam Smith defeat ahead of rematch


Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr will rematch this Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office; Eubank Jr told The Overlap this is “the biggest fight of my career” after what, in his view, was a “split second mistake” in their first fight

Chris Eubank Jr admits he was ‘complacent’ in Liam Smith defeat ahead of rematch

Chris Eubank Jr admitted he was “complacent” in his first fight with Liam Smith.

Liverpool’s Smith blasted Eubank down and out to win their January clash in just four rounds.

But the Brighton star put that down to a “split second mistake,” one that he vows not to repeat when he rematches Smith on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Box Office.

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Chris Eubank Jr admits he was ‘complacent’ in Liam Smith defeat ahead of rematch

Speaking to Gary Neville on The Overlap, Eubank said: “I think I got complacent.

“I was very comfortable in that ring, probably more so than I usually am in fights in general.

“I was very comfortable, I was very relaxed, he wasn’t catching me with shots, in the third round I hit him with some great combinations, and I was just fully in control. I guess I went back to the corner after the third round and I was like ‘this is in the bag, I’ve got this.'”

He explained: “You’ve got to have confidence but as a veteran you can gauge your ability, especially after being in the ring for a few rounds with another man. You know whether it’s going to be a hard night or whether you’ve got it.

“After that third round I was like: ‘I’ve got this, this is where I’m going to start taking off.'”

Eubank Jr now acknowledges that that was where he went wrong.

“That relaxed attitude – ‘Oh there’s no danger in front of me’, caused me to let my guard down for a split second, literally,” he said. “My opponent capitalised on that split second mistake and now we’re here, about to settle the score in a rematch.”

Chris Eubank Jr admits he was ‘complacent’ in Liam Smith defeat ahead of rematch

Smith is veteran fighter, a former world champion who has boxed Canelo Alvarez, Jaime Munguia and many more. He demonstrated against Eubank that he is an expert finisher too.

But Eubank believes he will respond to the loss and be better for their second fight.

He told The Overlap: “When I got out of that ring it wasn’t depression or upset, it was annoyance, I was [thinking:] ‘how can I let this happen, I know I can beat this guy’ – so it was a different type of sting. But that’s boxing, you’ve got to take your licks when they’re there and have the ability to come back stronger, tougher, more resilient, improved. You’ve got to learn from your mistakes,” he said.

Nor could he deny that this is now “the biggest fight of my career”.

“That is all that’s on my mind,” he said, “getting in that ring and avenging the loss.

“Right now I’m just in fight mode.”

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


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