Liam Smith stuns Chris Eubank Jr with fourth-round stoppage

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  • Clash of bitter British middleweight rivals ends in shock
  • Referee stopped fight after Smith landed flurry of blows

Liam Smith stopped Chris Eubank Jr with brutal and clinical authority in the fourth round of their middleweight contest in Manchester on Saturday night. His decisive victory, after an initially competitive and intriguing bout, settled the simmering animosity between the two men and has earned Smith the right to engage in far more prestigious fights. While no title was at stake in this domestic showdown between two fierce local rivals, Smith knew that a fourth defeat in his 37th bout would have been devastating for his future prospects. Eubank Jr, who is a year younger at 33, looked dazed and stricken beneath the percussive fists of Smith.

Pinned in his own corner early in the shockingly decisive round, Eubank Jr was caught by a blurring flurry of blows which culminated in a left hook and a cuffing right which sent him crumpling to the canvas. He was on his haunches, his right glove trying desperately to gain a grip on the ropes so that he could haul himself back to his feet. When he managed to get up Eubank Jr staggered drunkenly towards the referee, Victor Laughlin, but he was clearly hurt and confused. He spread his hands, questioningly, while Laughlin counted. It was as if he was asking the referee why he was still shouting: “Six … seven … eight.”

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Written by Donald McRae at the AO Arena
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