Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr rematch pushed back after injury concern forces delay

Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr rematch pushed back after injury concern forces delay

Liam Smith’s rematch with Chris Eubank Jr has been postponed after the Liverpool fighter picked up an injury.

The British rivals fought at the start of the year in Manchester as Eubank was stopped for the first time as a professional, with Smith dropping him twice before the referee waved off the bout in the fourth round.

There was some uncertainty as to whether Eubank would activate the rematch clause, with a big-money fight against Conor Benn in the Middle East raised as an alternative option, but he has decided to look for revenge against Smith and the fight was scheduled for June 17.

However, that has now been pushed back two weeks to July 1 after Smith requested a delay to ensure a minor injury suffered in training had enough time to heal, with Eubank agreeing to the new date.

“It’s just an old injury niggle flaring up but I want to take the time to let it heal up so that I can enter the ring at 100 per cent on fight night, because a 100 per cent Liam Smith beats Chris Eubank Jr every day of the week and twice on Sunday,” Smith explained.

Eubank has complained that the referee was too quick to stop the fight back in January, claiming that he would have been able to recover had he been allowed to continue after what he described as a “once-in-a-lifetime shot” from Smith.

It will be the first time Eubank has entered the ring to face a man who has already beaten him, and the 33-year-old has admitted there is no margin for error if he is to get his career back on track.

“This is a rematch, a very serious fight for me now, I cannot afford any mistakes, so I’m ready for the challenge,” Eubank said.

“I may have, not underestimated him, but there wasn’t as much pressure on me in the last fight. Now on the flip side all the pressure is on me, I have to go out there and perform, my career is on the line.”

The undercard action in Manchester will also now move to July 1, with Savannah Marshall challenging undisputed world super-middleweight champion Franchon Crews-Dezurn for all four belts at 168lbs.