In a recent interview, Kalle Sauerland, the chief handler of Chris Eubank Jr, said he could offer no alibis for Liam Smith’s shocking fourth-round stoppage of Eubank in their middleweight bout last Saturday night in front of a sell-out crowd at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
Eubank, who had proven himself throughout his career to be, if nothing else, a very durable fighter, was the heavy favorite going into their 12-round bout.
“It just goes to show, in boxing, that timing is everything,” Sauerland told BBC 5 Live Boxing. “It was for us, it went the wrong way.”
Sauerland, the head of Wasserman Boxing, refused to acknowledge that drastic weight cutting had anything to do with Eubank’s career-worst loss. There was some chatter after Saturday’s fight that Eubank, a career 160 and 168-pounder, may have been affected by the preparation he underwent for a fight that was scheduled previous to one with Smith— the 157-pound catchweight bout with Conor Benn in October that ended up being cancelled after Benn was revealed to have failed two drug tests.
Sauerland brushed aside any insinuation that Eubank may have been weakened by having to make weight for the scuttled Benn fight.
“No, there’s no excuses,” Sauerland continued. “There’s absolutely [no excuses]—we have no excuses. Look, the [Smith] fight was made at middleweight. He came in at 159, voluntarily. The weight’s not the issue. And I think the preparation, the performance was everything was going the right way. He walked into one … that’s the nature of the sport. Probably will see it again.”
Eubank has a rematch clause he can activate right away, but Sauerland said that they will take their time with a decision.
“He’s gonna want to avenge [his loss], Sauerland said of his client. “It’s about sitting down next week and analyzing what’s out there. We’ll be speaking with Sky, with Boxxer, around that. There is a clause. We could activate it immediately, but it’s a little bit rash to say that right now.
“I don’t actually feel deflated. I feel shocked. It’ll probably hit me tomorrow. We said it was an elite fight. I said it was a live fight. …Most experts were asking me, ‘Who’s next.’ I said, ‘Don’t look past Liam Smith, this is a live fight.’”
ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (11)