Liam Smith dismissed the claims from Chris Eubank’s handlers that Smith’s inadvertent albeit illegal elbow buzzed Eubank before any of Smith’s punches put him down Saturday night in Manchester, England.
Roy Jones Jr., Eubank’s trainer, first suggested in the immediate aftermath of Smith’s stunning TKO victory that Smith’s left elbow struck Eubank and was a contributing factor in his defeat. Kalle Sauerland, Eubank’s promotional representative, later told Sky Sports that he was considering filing a protest on Eubank’s behalf with the British Boxing Board of Control.
England’s Eubank has not personally stated that he thinks an unintentional elbow by Smith helped lead to his devastating defeat.
“They are clutching at straws,” Smith told Sky Sports on Friday. “As much as it might be a shock for people to see Chris sitting on his backside like that, just take it on the chin. You lost, you got stopped. Come back from it. Nobody believes you. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
Smith’s alleged foul has been the subject of much debate on Twitter, where fans have argued whether the former WBO junior middleweight champion’s elbow affected Eubank while Eubank was backed into a neutral corner and attempted to slip Smith’s numerous punches. Liverpool’s Smith (33-3-1, 20 KOs) eventually blasted Eubank with a vicious left uppercut and then a flush left hook that sent Eubank to the canvas for the first time in his 11-year, 35-fight professional career.
Eubank got up quickly, but he stumbled around the ring before the action continued. Smith sent him to the canvas a second time after landing a short right hand on the inside.
A disoriented Eubank reached his feet again, but referee Victor Loughlin stopped their 12-round middleweight match at 1:09 of the fourth round at AO Arena.
The 33-year-old Eubank, who was a 3-1 favorite over Smith and was known for his granite chin, was stopped inside the distance for the first time. Brighton’s Eubank (32-3, 23 KOs) said during his post-fight interview with Sky Sports that he will exercise the immediate rematch clause in his contract.
“Go file your complaint by all means,” Smith said. “If that’s the case, just take the rematch. What are you waiting for? You’ve got three or four weeks to activate the rematch clause. If it was caused by an elbow, go ahead and activate it and let’s move on.”
If Eubank exercises that contractual clause, Smith promised he will suffer the same fate in their second bout.
“People clutching at straws,” Smith said. “People don’t want to give me credit. They’re all trying to find something. Keep hitting me with the comments, but let me tell you this – I’ll do the exact same in the rematch.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
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