The Monday LunchBox

Middleweight Liam Smith beefs it up with his team and promoter.
Photo: Lawrence Lustig/BOXXER

In arguably a career high performance Liverpool’s Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith (33-3-1, 20 KO’s) blew away Chris Eubank Jr. in the fourth round of a middleweight contest on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena.

The spectacular nature of the technical knockout, halted by referee Victor Loughlin after 1:09 of the round, showed the often underestimated power of the Scouser (native of Liverpool). It was widely thought pre-fight with Smith stepping up from 154lbs (11st) the light-middleweight division, and Eubank Jr. (32-3, 23 KO’s) coming down from 168lbs (12st) super-middle’s, that the Brighton man would have the bigger firepower and strength, but that was proved way off the mark.

The contest, before a deafening, sold out crowd, and shown live on Sky Box Office in the UK was captivating from the opening bell. After a tightly contested first round, Eubank Jr. started to take control from round two and by the third more clearly, almost to the extent that a stoppage in the fourth was looking well possible in his favour. The fight then turned on its head as Eubank Jr. in firing strong right hands and jabs to finish the contest, became sloppy, and left himself wide open to a counter. Smith duly obliged in spectacular fashion with a clubbing right, followed by a barrage of punches, and finally, an inch perfect uppercut.

Smith first dropped his opponent and Eubank Jr. being shocked and with bravado rose immediately, much too quick as it happened, to leave himself exposed, and duly got nailed again. On Eubank rising again on shaky legs Loughlin waved the contest over and bedlam resulted. This was a very popular victory with the venue full of Scousers, erupting immediately.

To his credit Eubank Jr. accepted his defeat and admitted the better man had won on the night.

The event was ably supported by world ranked cruiserweight Richard Riakporhe (16-0, 12 KO’s) moving a step closer to a world title shot by defeating former WBO champion Krzysztof Glowacki on the night. Again the contest finished in the fourth round by a strong right hand knockout on 2:44 mins. Riakporhe marches on to an inevitable world title shot. There are also lucrative domestic matches on offer.

There was a closely contested title defence by Ekow Essuman (19-0, 7 KO’s) of his British and Commonwealth welterweight titles over Chris Kongo (14-2, 7 KO’s). The champion won by majority decision 114-114, 116-113, 115-114 as a result of his greater aggression compared to Kongo’s behind the jab and move tactics. There were also good victories for heavyweights Joseph Parker and Frazer Clarke.

In an emphatic knockout showing on a high profile night in front of a captive live and television audience the stock of Liam Smith rose again considerably and he should look forward to a further possible world title shot. A potential rematch with Eubank Jr. is also a likelihood should be fail to secure that title shot, and the revenge or repeat aspect would similarly fill a British indoor venue this year.

This weekly feature is to also raise awareness of the Ringside Charitable Trust.

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