THE rematch between Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr is officially on.
Eight months on from their first encounter the two British middleweights will fight once again on September 2 at the AO Arena, Manchester. Sky Sports Box Office will broadcast the event.
In January Smith ended the trash talk, which strayed into unnecessary territory, with an unexpected fourth round stoppage. Prior to the fight most predictions centred on it going the distance and while Smith was many people’s pick very few anticipated the night ending so early.
The win over Eubank was a feather in the cap for the Liverpudlian who picked up the biggest victory of his career.
On February 14 the defeated Eubank revealed on Twitter he had exercised his contractual right to a rematch with Smith.
“This morning I activated the rematch clause via my lawyers & sent to my promoters @Wasserman. Happy Valentine’s Day @LiamBeefySmith.”
Since then, getting the two men back in the ring has proved difficult.
In the final week of April, the rematch was announced for June 17 back at the AO Arena, Manchester. A press conference, the face to face and the usual proceedings followed. A few weeks later the fight was postponed when Smith suffered a back injury.
One day later a new date was given. July 1 in Manchester. Then just over a fortnight later it was off again with Smith having to withdraw after a medical assessment. Franchon Crews-Dezurn and Savannah Marshall, the initial chief support fight, became the headline act with Marshall walking out the winner and as the number one female super-middleweight with four belts for her troubles.
Eddie Hearn and Conor Benn have continually circled the on-off rematch waiting to pull Eubank into a rescheduled fight of their own. Last October two of the most famous surnames in British boxing history were due to fight at a catchweight of 156lbs but during fight week the event was called off after Benn failed a drugs test. Smith’s promoter Ben Shalom has had to keep the media at arm’s length fending off rumours that Eubank would ditch ‘Beefy’ for Benn.
Last Friday Eubank improved the situation for Shalom when he announced from his Twitter feed that the rematch was on for September 2. Later that morning Boxing News got Smith’s response who said, “It’s nice he’s found his phone and his voice. I’ve not heard anything, any confirmation about that. I was told today he’s fighting Conor Benn.”
Finally, the saga was brought to an end today when Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr was officially announced by Boxxer.