By: Sean Crose
Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith stepped into the ring in Manchester Arena Saturday night in Britain with the goal settling things with their fists and footwork. Although not technically a bout of profound significance, former titlist Smith and the popular Eubanks had enough pedigree and popularity behind them to make their match a big deal. These, simply put, were two very good fighters who still had gas in the tank and who quite frankly didn’t seem to be big fans of one another, as their intelligence insulting final press conference proved. The bout was scheduled for 12 in the middleweight division.
The live crowd at Manchester Arena was so electric it could be felt across the Atlantic as the opening bell rang. The 32-2 Eubank started off firing his jab at the 32-3-1 Smith while Smith pressed the action. The second saw each man having his moments, while still playing relatively safe. They may not have cared much for each other, but each fighter respected the others ability.
Smith continued to grind away in the third, but Eubank appeared to take control of the tempo later in the round. A flurry of blows early in the fourth put Eubank down. Eubank got up – but got put right down again. The referee stopped the fight. Strangely enough, Eubank got up and tried fighting Smith some more, even though the fight was officially over. In fairness, however, the man still appeared to be a bit out of it at that point and was seemingly unaware of what was going on.
In a sign of good sportsmanship, Eubank walked over to Smith just a minute or so later to congratulate him on the win.
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