Liam Smith has accused Chris Eubank Jr of coming up with ‘laughable’ excuses for losing their first fight ahead of their highly-anticipated rematch next month.
The pair clashed at the Manchester Arena in January, with Smith stunning his rival by knocking him out in the fourth round, becoming the first man to stop Eubank Jr inside the distance.
Eubank Jr has since exercised his rematch clause and will face Smith at the same venue on September 2.
After suffering the third professional defeat of his career, Eubank Jr claimed he had been caught by an illegal elbow during the sequence of punches that sent him to the canvas, and also questioned whether the referee had jumped in too early to stop the fight.
But Smith has rubbished Eubank Jr’s remarks, and called for him to take responsibility for his shortcomings in the ring.
Liam Smith (L) stopped Chris Eubank Jr inside four rounds in their first meeting in January
Smith sent Eubank Jr to the canvas for the first time in his career, and has not been impressed by his opponent’s ‘excuses’ for losing to him
The pair are set to face each other in a rematch next month at the Manchester Arena
‘That (elbow) accusation made Chris look laughable rather than anybody else,’ Smith exclusively told Mail Sport.
‘He’s come with the elbow, he blamed the referee. Because he activated the rematch clause he’s got to come up with some excuse and he really is that stupid he’s blaming all different excuses.
‘It was the referee at one minute, it was the elbow the other minute, it was the weight one minute, it was (trainer) Roy Jones’ fault the next. He’s blaming everybody bar himself.’
Eubank Jr has made changes to his training team for the rematch against Smith, with Roy Jones Jr no longer involved, while former heavyweight champion David Haye has been added to his camp.
Smith doesn’t expect Haye’s presence to make any difference, though, as he believes Eubank Jr is incapable of making the necessary adjustments to beat him.
‘He can bring the best coaches in the world. I just think he’s that egotistic, you can’t really change him,’ Smith said.
Eubank Jr has added former heavyweight champion David Haye (pictured) to his training team, but Smith does not expect the move to benefit his rival
Smith believes he will get his hand raised no matter who Eubank Jr has in his corner
‘So go and bring who you want in and keep adding to your team if that makes sense, but once you get in there I’m still too good for you.
‘I don’t see what David Haye can bring to him. David Haye’s style is a low left hand and erky-jerky, trying to make me twitch. I know David Haye was part of his management team so I don’t really know what David Haye can bring into him, but we’ll wait and see.
‘I think he needs anything mentally that he feels can help him. But David Haye’s not going to be able to help him, Roy Jones couldn’t help him last time. I told him that before the fight.’
Another victory for Smith would leave him in a strong position, with a number of huge fights potentially on the table for the 35-year-old.
Domestic dust-ups with Kell Brook or Conor Benn, who has been cleared by UKAD after failing two drugs tests last year, could await, while he may also get a shot at becoming a two-time world champion.
Smith is open to fighting Kell Brook or Conor Benn (pictured) if he gets past Eubank Jr again
Smith is currently operating at middleweight, but is open to moving back down to light-middleweight if a title chance presents itself, and would also welcome a clash with Brook or Benn to prove he’s Britain’s best.
‘Any of those fights excite me. Any of those fights are big-money fights for me,’ he added.
‘There’s still a chance (of going down to 154). It depends what comes available. If (Jermell) Charlo vacates the four belts then I can manoeuvre myself in a position after Chris and fight for one of them titles then yeah, I’ll do light-middle again.
‘I beat Chris again and I should get a healthy ranking at middleweight also, so we’ll see.’
SMITH vs EUBANK II: REPEAT OR REVENGE? on Saturday September 2nd at the AO Arena in Manchester will be shown live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office. Tickets are on sale now and available from BOXXER.com.