Liam Smith has broken his silence after suffering defeat last weekend.
The Liverpool fighter was comprehensively beaten by Chris Eubank Jr. as the pair engaged in a lucrative rematch at Manchester’s AO Arena.
Smith beat the second-generation Eubank at the same venue back in January, stopping the 33-year-old inside four rounds to claim what many said was a career-best victory.
But the former WBO super-welterweight champion suffered the reverse fate on Saturday, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office, as he was stopped by Eubank Jr. inside 10 rounds of a scheduled 12.
In the aftermath, Smith –– who postponed the rematch on two occasions after suffering a back injury at the start of camp –– told media that the weight cut was tough and that he had to take off a staggering three-stone to make the 160-pound contracted limit at last Friday’s weigh-in.
“I couldn’t get off,” Smith said in the post-fight press conference. “The weight cut just took its toll on me, from the minute of the back injury to the minute of the rescheduled date. It was like a race against time, from our point of view, the deadline where Chris might have walked away from the rematch, so it was always a race against time and I just feel it obviously played its part.
“You didn’t have to be a genius to see how flat [I was from] 40 seconds into the fight. I just couldn’t get going. I feel the weight killed me.
“I think everyone knows and Chris knows how I was with the weight, to say at the weigh-in. After the injury, I came down three stone (42 pounds) and so [that is] a lot of weight to shift in a short space of time.”
‘Beefy’ rolled his ankle in the opening stages of the fight and, in truth, never really looked like he could win.
Eubank Jr., who Smith gave props to in his latest post on socials, has called out the likes of Conor Benn, Kell Brook and even Gennadiy Golovkin.
“We shout when we win and I can take defeat if I lose,” added the 35-year-old. “I’m gutted about how I lost but the performance speaks for itself.
“All I will say, my FAMILY, my TEAM and all my FANS, I’m sorry and I love you all.
“[One hundred per cent, I’ll] be back for [you all].
“Congratulations to Chris, he boxed well and has evened the score!!!”
Many fans were calling for a third fight between the pair, but it remains to be seen what the future holds for Smith, who slipped to 33-4-1 with 20 quick, as Eubank Jr. –– under the tutelage of new trainer Brian ‘BoMac’ McIntyre –– advanced to 33-3 with 24 stoppages.