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Eubank Jr avenges January defeat with dominant Smith stoppage
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Chris Eubank Jr defeated Liam Smith with a 10th-round stoppage in Manchester (Peter Byrne/PA)
Chris Eubank Jr defeated Liam Smith with a 10th-round stoppage in Manchester (Peter Byrne/PA)

Chris Eubank Jr stopped British rival Liam Smith in round 10 of their rematch to gain revenge for his defeat in January at the AO Arena in Manchester.

Smith, who beat Eubank in a fourth-round stoppage at the same venue in January, was twice knocked down before the referee stepped in to spare the Liverpudlian from further punishment.

Eubank produced a brilliant performance from the opening round, first sending Smith to the canvas in the fourth round and again in the 10th, as he secured the 34th win of his professional career.

“I had no other choice (but to beat Smith). There’s too many other big fights out there for me that the fans want to see, that I want to be involved in,” Eubank said in the ring after the bout.

“I had to beat Liam tonight. Liam is a warrior. I respect him, his team, his family and his brothers.

“They always come out and put it all on the line. He fought until the last second, so big up to Liam and his team.”

“I trained hard for that fight, I trained hard for this fight. The focus is always there. I dedicate my life to this sport.

“Now we’re onto bigger and better fights. There’s some big names out there. I see a few of these guys in the crowd. I’m coming for you.”

The rematch, twice rescheduled earlier this summer from June and then July, lived up to expectation, with Eubank overcoming a hostile reception having been booed when entering the arena.

Former two-time IBO super-middleweight champion Eubank began to take control in the second round, staying behind his jab.

He caught former WBO light-middleweight champion Smith in the third round and sent him to the floor for the first time with a fierce uppercut in the next.

Smith was controversially given an extended 30 seconds to recover after spitting out his mouthguard, but he came in for more punishment in the fifth as Eubank swarmed his man as he looked to settle the bout.

More head and body shots from Eubank in the seventh round hurt Smith, who was nursing an ankle issue, with replays suggesting he twisted it in the second round.

Eubank continued to fight with controlled aggression as the two fighters continually exchanged words at the end of rounds.

Smith was pushed backwards in the 10th and was sent sprawling to the canvas for the second time. He gamely continued, but was pinned against the ropes again and the referee stepped in to stop the fight.

Smith, sporting a deep cut above his right eye, said after the defeat: “Everything from start to finish (went wrong). I was just flat from the start.

“Chris was sharp. That’s all I can say about it really. I shout when I win, I take my defeats when I lose.”

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