Liam Smith is itching to get back in the ring against Chris Eubank Jr.
In January, Liverpool’s Smith upset Brighton’s Eubank with a fourth-round knockout in their scheduled 12-round middleweight bout at AO Arena in Manchester, England.
But Eubank would avenge his loss eight months later, in September, with a dominant stoppage of Smith in the 10th round.
Eubank is now looking to take on drug-embattled countryman Conor Benn. Eddie Hearn, Benn’s promoter, suggested that their high-profile fight could land on Feb. 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Arena in London. But the British Boxing Board of Control recently came out and said they would not sanction a fight involving Benn because he has yet to go through with a proper investigation regarding his two failed drug tests from last year.
If Eubank fails to fight Benn next, Smith has a suitable matchup in mind for his brash rival.
“I’d loved that to happen,” Smith said of a potential trilogy with Eubank in an interview with Boxing News. “If you ask me right now, I’d pay money out of my own pocket to fight Chris again. That’s one that eats away at me. He’s probably going to take that win and go elsewhere instead of trying to make a trilogy and beat me convincingly next time. But we’ll see. We’ll see how it plays out.
“If he’s not going to fight Conor [Benn], who’s he gonna fight? We’ll see. I’m not really confident in that at the moment. I’ve had a good rest and let my injuries heal and I’ll be looking toward March, end of February, probably March, with no pressure to fight, no pressure of making weight.”
Smith, a free agent, says he is having discussions with a few promoters about his future, including Matchroom, which promoted him in the past. Matchroom also backs his brother, the light heavyweight contender Callum Smith. Smith was previously backed by Boxxer.
“The people I’m talking to now is basically asking me ‘when?’” Smith said. “If they got a fight for me in March, I’m pretty sure they’ll offer me, so yeah I’ve spoken to Matchroom last weekend, I’ve got a couple of other options at the moment. I’m coming off the back of a loss but I’m still in a good place, still got options, left, right, and center. I’m pretty sure I’ll be in big fights.”
Sean Nam is the author of Murder on Federal Street: Tyrone Everett, the Black Mafia, and the Last Golden Age of Philadelphia Boxing.