Liam Smith should know exactly how to beat Chris Eubank Jr. After all he’s done it before and in some style too.
Smith stunned Eubank when he handed him a four-round stoppage defeat in January. But Smith won’t allow himself to take their September 2 rematch lightly.
After that knockout Smith believes Eubank Jr is “wounded”.
“So that makes him dangerous,” Smith told Sky Sports. “Do I think Chris is scared of me? No. He’s got vulnerabilities now and he’s probably got ‘fear’ of me as in he knows I can knock him out.”
But he added: “Fighters are not scared in that sense. Clever maybe.”
Eubank might well change his approach. He could go forward and try to push Smith back. “A lot of people are going to be sitting thinking, is he coming for a fight with Liam? Is he going to try and stick it right on Liam?” Smith mused.
“If he does then we’re in for a well better fight than we had last time.”
But that is also an approach which Smith would welcome. “I’m better when somebody comes to me and tries to fight with me. That’s my ideal opponent,” the Liverpudlian said.
“I don’t want to be chasing no one around the ring, I don’t want to have to be having to cut the ring down off somebody which I had to last time.
“So if he comes to me for a fight, great, I’ll meet him head on and he’s easier to catch. If he’s in front of me, he’s easier to catch.”
He also had another warning for Eubank Jr, that by Eubank’s own account the Brighton star could not deter him.
“You didn’t budge me, you didn’t even make me take a backwards step. You’re the ‘big middleweight’ and I basically chased you around the ring,” Smith said.
“In a fight that you said you dominated, you jabbed my head off then you landed six, seven, eight uppercuts – a round later I knocked you out. So, by all accounts, you can’t hurt me.
“Yet I know I can hurt you. I hurt you easy because I didn’t even put anything into the shots.”
As a boxer Smith is technically very sound indeed. That was hugely significant in their first encounter.
“Fundamentals in boxing are massive and they can be the difference. When you’ve got people evenly matched, they more than likely are the difference,” he said. “Chris has never been found wanting for fitness, durability, toughness.
“He’s always been found wanting because he’s not good enough and I said before the last fight that would be the same outcome this time.
“You come up against someone with better fundamentals than you again,” he warned Eubank, “and you lost. Again.”
Watch Liam Smith vs Chris Eubank Jr II on September 2 live on Sky Sports Box Office