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Chris Eubank Jr activates Liam Smith rematch clause

Chris Eubank Jr activates Liam Smith rematch clause
© Reuters
Chris Eubank Jr confirms that he has activated his rematch clause to fight Liam Smith for a second time later this year.

Chris Eubank Jr has chosen to activate his rematch clause to face Liam Smith later this year.

Ahead of the initial middleweight showdown on January 21, Eubank Jr was the heavy favourite with the bookmakers to overcome the Liverpudlian, whose best days were deemed to be at super-welterweight.

However, after a cagey opening three rounds in which neither fighter established any real momentum, Smith unloaded in the fourth, flooring Eubank Jr with a right uppercut and left hook.

With Eubank Jr barely regaining his balance after beating the 10 count, the referee waved off the bout seconds after the fight resumed with Eubank Jr in no condition to continue.

Despite the ruthless nature of his victory, a rematch always appeared likely due to images surfacing which suggested that Smith may have connected with an elbow in the seconds before what turned out to be a match-winning combination.

Whether that occurred or affected Eubank Jr has been left open to interpretation, but it adds another layer to the storyline ahead of a second bout.

In the aftermath of his defeat, Eubank Jr indicated that he was prepared to travel to Anfield, the home of Liverpool football club, in the summer.

With Eubank Jr taken up the option to square off against one of his domestic rivals for a second time, Smith and his promoters Boxxer may look to secure that venue for June or July.

Although a weight has not been specified at this stage, it is highly likely to take place at the middleweight limit of 160lbs, as with the first contest.

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Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith face off on January 20, 2023.
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