A fiery exchange between middleweights Liam Smith and Chris Eubank Jr concluded today’s press conference when they faced off in Manchester today ahead of this Saturday’s highly-anticipated rematch at the AO Arena, airing in the US on ESPN+ and in the UK and Ireland as a Sky Sports Box Office pay-per-view.
Smith stopped Eubank Jr in the first minute of the fourth round in their January encounter in the same venue, but Eubank’s confidence seemed undented when he confronted Smith at today’s press conference. Even now he was unwilling to acknowledge that Smith, with the first win behind him, was the better fighter of the two.
“If he pulls it off again, I can’t argue with it,” said Eubank. “But the performance I’m going to have on Saturday night is going to be exquisite, super-natural.”
Eubank has referred to Smith’s stoppage win as a “miracle” for the Liverpool man and a feat unlikely to be repeated, a claim which drew derision from Smith.
“Which shot was the miracle, Chris? The miracle was how easy it was!” he said. “If he makes the same mistakes, I’ll punish him for them.”
Eubank does acknowledge he is in this position for the first time – rematching an opponent who’s defeated him. “It is a new pressure that I have never had to deal with before. But I’m enjoying it,” he said.
“I’m enjoying the hardship I’m having to go through mentally and physically to execute the game plan on the night.
“I’m excited to go out there and see how I react.”
Florian Marku and Dylan Moran had a fiery interaction when they faced off, with Marku afterwards claiming Moran had trembled during the staredown.
“He was shaking when we were face to face, he tried to hide it. If you see the videos from the cameras, he was shaking his legs,” he said.
“I’m going to hunt him. I know he’s going to try to box, he going to try to run, but I will be too much for him.”
Moran laughed this off, “Never in my life will I shake in front of you… I am the superior boxer. It’s been a long and tough journey to get here today and I won’t let Florian Marku rob me of that.
“He’s standing in my way. It’s been a lifetime of hard work to be sat here and I plan on finishing the job Saturday night.”
Another fight on the undercard which is generating excitement is the heavyweight clash between Olympic bronze medallist Frazer Clarke and David Allen.
Allen will look for a huge upset on Saturday night and although he knows his task is a tricky one, he is confident of victory.
Allen said: “I’ve known him a very long time. I’ve known him since 2012. We’ve done a lot of rounds together [in sparring]. I know what he’s capable of. He’s a very good fighter. I’ve been out for a long time. I know it’s a difficult ask for me, but I expect to win. I wouldn’t be here if not.”
Clarke, 7-0 as a professional, was last out in June where he dominated Mariusz Wach over 10 rounds to secure a unanimous decision and looks to continue his winning ways.
He said: “I come to win fights and have my hand raised at the end. My job is to land more leather on Dave Allen than he lands on me.”
‘Big Fraze’ also responded to Allen’s claims he is the better boxer, he said: “Dave outboxing me is like me saying that I’m going to become an underwear model for Calvin Klein. I just can’t see it happening.”
Undefeated prospect Adam Azim takes on his toughest challenge in 23-1 Aram Fanyan and although Azim has only eight professional fights under his belt, he is relishing the challenge.
The 21-year-old said: “I’m treating every single fight like a world title fight. I’ve got to take fights like this to develop myself and I feel like my confidence has doubled up. This is going to be the best performance you have ever seen in your life.”