LIAM SMITH reckons his grueling “42 pound” weight loss cost him the rematch with Chris Eubank Jr.
The former WBC light middleweight champion suffered a tenth-round TKO loss to his British rival in their second Manchester fight of the year on Saturday night.
Smith was dropped twice and suffered a horrific laceration to his right eye before referee Kevin Parker called off the fight but believes the real damage was caused by him reducing himself to 160lbs.
“I just couldn’t get away,” he said in the post-fight press conference. “I just feel like losing weight has taken a toll on me.
“From the back injury to the postponed appointment, it was like aagainst the time.
“From our point of view, that is itmaybe Chris would have avoided the rematch.
“It was always a race against time anyway and I feel like it just played its part.”
“You don’t have to be a genius to see how shallow [I was] from 40 seconds of combat.
“I just feel like I couldn’t go any further. The weight was killing me.”
Smith, 35, was quick to dismiss the notion that an ankle injury restricted his range of motion, saying: “I think I made it in the second or third round.”
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“But like I said, I’ve even done the ankle area in fights. It was more like I was floored. That just killed me.”
Smith lent his supports to bitter rival Eubank Jr. – the son of British boxing star Chris Eubank Sr. – in the ring.
He said: “Chris was the better man tonight. I scream when I win, I accept defeat when I lose.”
He added, “I think everyone knows and Chris knows how I’ve fared with the weight, at least at the weigh-in.”
“After the injury, I lost three kilos in a short time and shifted a lot of weight.
“But that’s all I can say. I was floored from the start, floored as it has to be, I couldn’t move my feet and Chris was sharp early on so fair to him.”
Eubank Jr. brushed off the bad blood after raising his hand to commend Smith’s bravery.
He said: “I had to beat Liam tonight. I hit so many punches the writing on my shorts fell off, it’s unbelievable.”
“But listen, Liam is a warrior, I respect him, I respect his entire team, his family and his brothers.”
“They always come out, they always put everything on the line. He didn’t give up, he fought until the last second. Kudos to Liam and his team.”