Liam Smith makes 'brutal' promise to Josh Kelly and honest Chris Eubank Jr admission

Liam Smith and Josh Kelly face off
-Credit: (Image: (James Fearn/Getty Images))

Liam Smith has warned Josh Kelly that he is in for a 'brutal' night when they face each other at Wembley Stadium in September.

The fight has been confirmed as one of the bouts on what is expected to be a mouthwatering night of boxing on Saturday, September 21, headlined by Anthony Joshua facing Daniel Dubois for the IBF world heavyweight title.

Smith will be returning to the ring for the first time since his stoppage defeat to Chris Eubank Jr last September. The 35-year-old was stopped in the tenth round at the AO Arena in Manchester.

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Kelly, meanwhile, has won his last five fights following a defeat to David Avanesyan three years ago. But Smith believes there is a reason why the 30-year-old finds himself where he is.

“Josh is trying to end my career," he told Box Nation. "Josh is trying to finish my career, so I have to be tooth and nail with this.

“He is a very talented fighter, and there are no questions asked. But he is where he is for a reason. His ability has only taken him so far; he lacks something.

“I know what he lacks and I think I will bring that out of him. I think when it gets very tough, there is only one winner. His ability has only taken him so far and he has had the ability to be 'world champion' and go very far in this game.

“Ability only takes you so far, and that is why he is where he is at now. He’s been a pro for a long time, and he probably should be further on in his career than where he is.

“He is where he is for a reason, and his ability can only take you so far in this game; it is a brutal business. I plan to make it a brutal fight with him.”

Smith admitted following his defeat to Eubank Jr that he had been 'killed' in the build-up to the fight by a gruelling weight cut. However, he shut down any suggestions that he will have trouble making weight this time around and revealed he should never have been in the ring with the 34-year-old last year.

“160 is not an issue for me,” he said. “I am not long at 160; I was a 154 [fighter]. Put me back in that scenario, and I probably could have made 154 again.

“I pulled out of the Chris Eubank Jr rematch with a back injury and then it has been no secret that I got forced into, but the buck stops with me. I should have called the people around me there bluff and the promoters bluff.”