Liam Smith Vs Chris Eubank II Renders Their First Bout Pointless

Why care about a rematch when nobody gained or lost anything in the first one?
16:03, 25 Apr 2023

Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr’s rematch is official. BOXXER will stage the second meeting between the middleweights on 17th June, back at the AO Arena in Manchester. ‘Repeat or Revenge’ is the on the nose tagline for a rematch that has seemed sadly inevitable since Smith bounced Eubank off the canvas at the same venue back in January. 

Almost always, an upset in boxing is followed by an immediate do-over. Dillian Whyte was allowed another crack at Alexander Povetkin when suffering a shock KO defeat to the Russian back in 2020. Oleksandr Usyk and Andy Ruiz Jr went straight back in with Anthony Joshua after beating him, despite there being more interesting fights out there for both. The exhilaration of a boxing upset is more often than not followed by an attempt from the powers-that-be to restore order.


It’s a particular shame for Smith. Sure, ‘Beefy’ will likely make a fair amount of money from the match-up. But beyond the fiduciary benefits, there is little to gain for the Liverpudlian. He has already boxed the perfect fight against Eubank. A dazzling, one-sided stoppage win over Eubank already sits proudly on his record. His lot in life doesn’t change if he does it again. Even if he were to do it a round or two sooner, Smith gains nothing from stopping Eubank again.

Any avenues open to Liam after consecutive wins over Eubank were open to him after the first victory. That was the time to try and parlay his success into a shot at a second world title. Instead he goes over old ground against a domestic rival. To the casual fan, it’s probably a more interesting fight than a clash with one of the belt-holders around light-middleweight and middleweight. But for Smith’s legacy, a Eubank rematch does not compare to a title tilt.

The attraction for Eubank is a lot more understandable. ‘NextGen’ will want to get the taste of defeat out of his mouth as quickly as possible. Considering how comprehensively ‘Beefy’ battered him in their first meeting, the son of the great Chris Eubank should be applauded for taking an immediate return.


Eubank has bounced back from defeat before. But decision losses to Billy Joe Saunders and George Groves were easier to stomach. While he was out-hustled and outpointed on those occasions, Eubank has always publicly rationalised those defeats with defiance. He has trumpeted the fact he never went down, that he wasn’t stopped. Eubank assured us he would learn the lessons and come back stronger.

But, at the age of 33, he is not the gifted prospect of old any more. Being the son of a celebrated ex-pro has imbued him with a Peter Pan-like eternal youth. But Eubank Sr retired at the age of 32. Time has run out for the new model to emulate the achievements of the old stager. The lessons have been squandered. Like would-be rival Conor Benn, it looks like Eubank Jr’s might become a high-profile cautionary tale.

Eubank himself will argue that an impressive showing against Smith gives that tale a few more chapters. But does it really? The man who was effortlessly dismantled by Smith at the turn of the year doesn’t look like a potential world title force. Not any more. His career best victory over James DeGale feels a lot further away than 2019. The pair of IBO titles he’s won once suggested a path to real world titles. Now they could be the pinnacle of a career unfulfilled.

The first meeting between these two was fulfilling. Two British battlers in and around world class putting aside the overprotectiveness of modern boxing to square off. Each man ventured something in order to gain more. But four months on, nobody has really gained anything. Smith is in stasis, doing the same thing again and hoping for the same result. Eubank is looking for redemption but with an uncertain future if he gets it. We will be told this fight is massive, that the consequences will rock both men’s lives to their core. But we were told that the first time and yet we’re right back where we started.

smith vs eubank ii odds*

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject To Change

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