Liam Smith was all class following his defeat to Chris Eubank Jr.
‘Beefy’ was hoping to put on a repeat performance after picking up a fourth-round knockout win over Eubank Jr at Manchester’s AO Arena in January.
However, his 33-year-old opponent was at his blistering best as he scored two knockdowns before forcing a stoppage in the tenth round of their rematch at the same venue on Saturday night.
Many people, including Tony Bellew, speculated that Smith suffered an ankle injury during the fight, but post-fight he was only interested in talking about the back issue that stopped them from rematching in June.
Asked by Sky Sports what went wrong during the rematch, he replied: “Everything from start to finish.
“I was just flat from the start. The weight killed me a little bit after the injury. I was just flat from the get-go and Chris was sharp, that’s all I can say about it really.
“I couldn’t move my feet and when I did move my feet back I rolled my ankle. I’ve got dodgy ankles anyway, it was just f***ing one of them things.”
Despite alluding to a potential foot issue, Smith chose to focus on Eubank Jr who put on what was arguably the best performance of his career.
“Chris was the better man tonight,” he added.
“I shout when I win, I’ll take my defeat when I lose.
“After the injury, I come down three stone, it’s a lot of weight to shift in a short amount of time.
“That’s all I can put my finger on, I was flat as they come from the get-go.
“I couldn’t move my feet and Chris was sharp from early on. Fair play to him.”
Eubank Jr may now move on to a fight with Conor Benn.
‘The Destroyer, who was sitting at ringside to watch Smith vs Eubank Jr II, is currently gearing up for a comeback after being sidelined since April 2022.
Benn was supposed to face Eubank Jr last October, but he failed two drug tests, and their pay-per-view clash was called off at the eleventh hour.
The 26-year-old has recently been plotting his return to the ring and Eubank Jr could be a potential option if he is fully cleared to fight again.
Smith will need to assess the seriousness of any injuries he suffered on fight night before making a decision about his boxing future.