Liam Smith dismissed Chris Eubank Jr.’s suggestion that he’ll knock Smith out Saturday evening.
The previous WBO junior middleweight champion questioned whether or not Eubank even has reliable energy on the middleweight restrict of 160 kilos, the contracted weight at which they’ll battle. Smith’s declare got here after Eubank warned what is going to occur if Smith stays “within the pocket” with him throughout their 12-round most important occasion at AO Enviornment in Manchester, England.
“Chris, I can keep within the pocket with you,” Smith said throughout Sky Sports activities’ “The Gloves Are Off” preview present of their bout. “All’s you’re is you’re plain and easy in your fights. Yeah, you’ve obtained fast fingers.
“You suppose you possibly can punch? You possibly can’t punch. Even at 160, you possibly can’t punch. You’re match and you’ll put your photographs collectively. You possibly can’t punch.”
An incredulous Eubank then turned to host Johnny Nelson.
“I can’t punch,” Eubank mentioned. “Isn’t that unimaginable?”
Canelo Alvarez is the one opponent who has knocked out Smith in 36 skilled fights. The Mexican famous person stopped Smith (32-3-1, 19 KOs) within the ninth spherical of their battle for Smith’s WBO 154-pound crown in September 2016 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The 34-year-old Smith’s different two losses had been 12-round unanimous choices to Mexico’s Jaime Munguia (41-0, 33 KOs) and Russia’s Magomed Kurbanov (24-0, 13 KOs).
The 33-year-old Eubank (32-2, 23 KOs) has by no means been stopped inside the gap. His lone losses had been a 12-round cut up choice to British rival Billy Joe Saunders (30-1, 14 KOs) and a 12-round unanimous choice to retired Englishman George Groves (28-4, 20 KOs).
Brighton’s Eubank dropped Wales’ Liam Williams (24-4-1, 19 KOs) 4 instances in his final battle, as soon as apiece within the first, second, fourth and eleventh rounds. Williams went the gap with him, nevertheless, and misplaced their 12-round middleweight match by broad distances on all three scorecards – 117-109, 116-108 and 116-109 – final February 5 at Motorpoint Enviornment in Cardiff, Wales.
Liverpool’s Smith gained’t be as lucky, in response to Eubank.
“For so long as it lasts,” Eubank mentioned, “it’s gonna be thrilling – completely.”
Eubank declined to choose a spherical when Smith requested for a prediction.
“I don’t decide rounds,” Eubank mentioned, “however yeah, the best way you battle, you realize, it may’t go 12, actually, since you don’t transfer, you keep within the pocket. And should you keep within the pocket with me, I’m gonna roast you.”
The bout between Eubank and Smith will headline a Sky Sports activities Field Workplace pay-per-view present in the UK and Eire (£19.95; 6 p.m. GMT). DAZN will stream the cardboard headlined by Eubank-Smith in the USA, which can begin at 1 p.m. ET and 10 a.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior author/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He will be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.