Liam Smith vows to meet ‘fire with fire’ against Chris Eubank Jr after press conference turns ugly

Liam Smith vows to meet ‘fire with fire’ against Chris Eubank Jr after press conference turns ugly

Liam Smith is confident he can deal with anything Chris Eubank Jr throws at him when the pair meet on Saturday night.

The Liverpudlian goes into the fight as a slight underdog, but has the edge when it comes to delivering on the biggest stage having been WBO light-middleweight world champion until he was beaten by Canelo Alvarez in 2016.

Two more defeats have followed since then, to Jaime Munguia and Magomed Kurbanov, but victories last year over Anthony Fowler and Jesse Vargas have got things firmly back on track.

Smith will be the smaller man in the Manchester ring this weekend, as he moves up to 160lbs, but the 34-year-old has no concerns about what he’ll face from the other corner.

“If you want to shoot your shots early doors, make sure you don’t miss, mate,” Smith told Eubank at Wednesday’s press conference. “If he comes to me to make a fight, he knows I meet fire with fire.

“And that’s if he’s got the legs to do that for 12 rounds at 160. He’s going to have to go some to budge me – not many people have. Canelo done me with a body shot - he was the best fighter in the world.

“Nobody else has come close and Chris Eubank Jr is not going to come close either. If he comes for me early doors, he’s in for a long night.

“If he tries to outbox me, good luck to you. Hopefully, your size works in your favour because I don’t think you have the fundamentals to box me like that.”

Eubank returns to the ring for the first time since his scheduled bout with Conor Benn was called off in October, after Benn’s failed drug tests emerged just days before the fight.

The 33-year-old has claimed he doesn’t even need to be at 60% to beat Smith, while the press conference between the pair turned ugly as insults about private lives were exchanged.

Smith questioned his opponent’s sexuality, before Eubank stated he’d “rather be gay than a cheat” as he took aim at the Liverpudlian’s marriage.

Sky Sports presenter Anna Woolhouse told viewers: “We would like to apologise if you have been offended by the offensive language, personal and homophobic remarks made up on stage.”