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‘More fire in my belly because of the last performance’: Liam Smith aims for trilogy fight with Chris Eubank Jr

Liam Smith says he’s now healthy and has the fire in his belly for a third meeting with Chris Eubank Jr.

Liam Smith looks to settle his rivalry with Chris Eubank Jr with a third fight.
Liam Smith looks to settle his rivalry with Chris Eubank Jr with a third fight.
Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images
Wil Esco is an assistant editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2014.

Liam Smith isn’t content to fuel speculation of his retirement as he tells Sky Sports that he’s instead looking to secure a rubber match with Chris Eubank Jr, against whom he’s now 1-1 over his last two fights.

Smith would score a stoppage win over Eubank in their first meeting, but was stopped himself in their rematch last September. Therefore Smith thinks it’s really only natural for him to want the third fight for them to settle the score.

“I think it’s probably obvious what I want next. I’d love a third fight with Eubank if he doesn’t get the Conor Benn fight or whatever it might be,” he told Sky Sports. “The same people saying I’m finished after Eubank II were saying I’m the best middleweight in the world after Eubank I. How can I be finished in seven months with no fights in between?”

According to Smith, he struggled mightily to drop 42 pounds in a seven week period for the Eubank rematch, which severely hindered his conditioning. Smith also also says that his poor showing in that fight was compounded by tear in his ankle which hampered his mobility.

Now Smith says he’s feeling much better after this layoff, and wants to take advantage by showcasing what he believes he’s still capable of in the sport.

“I’ve got more fire in my belly because of the last performance. I’m injury free now, I’ve had a good layoff. It’s down to me to knuckle down and get myself back in good shape, prove a few people wrong and prove I’ve still got a lot left to give.”

But if Smith is unable to come to an agreement for a third Eubank fight, he says he’d still be willing to entertain fights against Janibek Alimkhanuly (who he admits is a tougher fight than Eubank), the winner of Magomed Kurbanov vs Israil Madrimov, or perhaps even Tim Tszyu.

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