I only need to be at 50% to win Smith – Eubank
Chris Eubank Jr says he will only have to show “50% of what I can do” to beat Liam Smith in their middleweight fight in Manchester on January 21.
At a press conference, he mocked fellow Briton Smith, saying he was an easier opponent than Benn.
“Conor was an unknown, unpredictable, young and undefeated,” he said. “I know what Liam is.”
Eubank wore a jacket emblazoned with the logos of a fast-food chain that he said had promised him as much fried chicken as he could eat while at training camp.
And the former IBO super middleweight champion wasted no time trying to shake up the 34-year-old Smith.
“I think 50% of what I can do will be enough to beat Liam,” he said.
“The villain is back. He never cheats, he never lies, he never cuts corners, but he’s still the villain.”
Smith – a former light-middleweight world champion – replied: “If he gets to 50%, I’ll wipe the floor with him.”
Benn Shadows Intriguing Encounter: Analysis
For a news conference about Eubank vs. Smith, Benn’s name was never far from anyone’s lips.
It’s been almost two months since it emerged that Benn had failed two voluntary drug tests and his fight with Eubank was postponed two days before it was to take place. He has since surrendered his boxing license and is now facing a legal battle to clear his name.
Eubank quickly moved on to another national rival, but the Benn saga predictably cast a large shadow over his return to the public eye.
He opened the press conference with a thinly veiled dig at Benn – who insists he’s a “clean” fighter – saying he “never cheats” and “never cheats.”
Smith was also eager to talk about Benn, asking him why there was a rematch clause for this fight, but there hadn’t been when Eubank fought Benn.
And of course, there’s the fact that Eubank’s “50%” and KFC taunts were ideas born while verbally sparring with Benn.
While Smith vs. Eubank may not have the same fanfare as Eubank vs. Benn, the fight is an intriguing matchup.
The two men have 32 wins, are only a year apart in age and know how to put on an exciting fight. Both are in excellent form: Smith with three stoppage wins in a row and Eubank with a six-fight winning streak.
The fight has all the makings of an all-British classic, even if the specter of Eubank vs. Benn still lingers.